He who despises his neighbor sins; but he who has mercy on the poor, happy is he.
Sin is breaking God’s law (1 John 3:4), and God’s law is based on love. As Jesus Christ explained, the law can be summarized as love for God and love for neighbor—for all fellow human beings (Matthew 22:37-40). These are known as the great commandments, which summarize the 10 Commandments and the entire law of God.
Love for neighbor was stated in the law this way: “You shall not hate your brother in your heart. You shall surely rebuke your neighbor, and not bear sin because of him. You shall not take vengeance, nor bear a grudge against the children of your people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the LORD” (Leviticus 19:17-18).
Instead of bearing a grudge and seeking vengeance, there are times to confront a neighbor and try to resolve any conflicts face-to-face and perhaps with a mediator. We must learn to love others as we love ourselves and give them the benefit of the doubt and the mercy we would like to be shown.
God wants us to grow in His attributes of love and mercy.