Better is a Neighbor who is Near than a Brother Who is Far Away
- January 30, 2020
- Taber Cheo
“Better is a neighbor who is near than a brother who is far away” – Proverbs 27:10
In our busy lives we have the tendency to lose focus on what really matters. We become so task oriented that we forget to slow down and acknowledge each moment at hand. I felt this way when I came across this proverb. As simple as it is, it is utterly profound. It blessed me in two regards. Both in relationships and desires, it brought peace to what I was beginning to feel anxious about. As we meditate on this proverb, I hope it blesses you in the same way.
I have many friends who are dear to my heart. After taking on more responsibilities and moving farther away, the time I had with these friends lessened dramatically. I was beginning to feel absent from community and more disconnected from my friends. Feeling puzzled and anxious, I came across proverbs 27:10 while listening to the audio bible. I had to stop and think. “Better is a neighbor who is near than a brother who is far away.”
I couldn’t deny that I miss the friends who are as close to me as a brother. After reading the proverb, I realized that regardless of my circumstance, there are people all around me; the “neighbor who is near.” Peace came to my heart as I recognized my fault. In focusing on how much I missed the friends I was close to, I was ignoring the people around me and forgetting to love them as well. Though I still miss the friends I moved away from, I found it better to be present with the person in front of you than always thinking about the friends you miss. But as much as my perspective shifted towards friendships, so did my thinking about goals and desires.
The culture we live in is so go, go, go that life seems to be taken over by tasks and goals. I’m passionate about many desires and goals in my life, so passionate it’s almost like the “brother who is far away.” I get so excited about them that when I see them not fulfilled, my heart becomes overwhelmed with anxiety. I felt this way when I came across the proverb. It helped me slow down as I personified my circumstances and tasks as “the neighbor who is close.” Although desires and goals can be very good, we should never be anxious about seeing them fulfilled. It is much better to remember the peace you have, slow down, be present and deal with the task at hand.
The bible identifies Jesus as peace Himself. Whether it has to do with our relationships or our tasks, the moment we let anxiety have its way, we choose to let go of Jesus Himself. May we always remember the rest Jesus provides for us no matter the circumstance. His yoke is easy and His burden is light. Never take it off.