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The Cranky Neighbor

Daily Devotional for May 26, 2024

Read: Mark 12:28-31

Bible version changes do not affect the Key audio or "Today's Key Verse," below.

Macy glanced at her brother and made a face as Mrs. Jackson from next door stepped into their yard. Here we go again, she thought. Their neighbor was always mad about something.

Mom got up from the porch swing. "Hello," she said in a cheerful voice.

Mrs. Jackson harrumphed. "I thought I heard your kids screaming."

Mom glanced at Macy and Jace. "Not today."

"Well, keep them quiet when it starts to get late like this. I haven't been feeling well and need my sleep," Mrs. Jackson said.

Mom's brows knit together. "I'm sorry to hear you haven't been feeling well. Is there anything we can do for you?"

Mrs. Jackson shook her head. "Just keep your kids quiet." She turned and marched back to her yard.

"I hope you feel better," Mom called after her.

"Why are you so nice to her, Mom?" Macy asked.

"Yeah," Jace said. "She's only ever grumpy and mean to us."

Mom turned toward them. "Sometimes it's when people are acting grumpy and mean that they need love and grace the most."

"Love?" Jace wrinkled his nose.

"She doesn't seem like she's deserving of it all the time, I know. But then again, neither are we." Mom sat on the porch swing between them. "God chose to love us even though we're not perfect. We all make mistakes, right?"

Macy thought about how often she fought with her brother, especially when they were playing board games. "Yeah."

Mom nodded. "God loves us in spite of our mistakes, and we should show love to others despite how they might treat us too. When we show them love and grace, we're showing them Jesus."

"I want to be like Jesus," Macy said.

Jace glanced at her. "Even if it means being nice to Mrs. Jackson?"

"Yeah." Macy sighed. "That's going to be hard."

Mom squeezed her hand. "But not impossible. You can trust Jesus to help you love others the way He loves you."

"I will," Macy said. She wanted to be loving like Jesus, even if it meant putting up with her cranky neighbor.

–Bethany Acker

Do you know someone who only ever seems to be in a bad mood? Sometimes people who are grumpy or mean act that way because they’re hurting. That doesn’t excuse their actions, but it can help you remember that they need love too. God shows us love and grace when we don’t deserve it, and He will help us do the same for others. Trust Him to help you love your neighbors the way Jesus loves you.

Love your neighbor as yourself. (NIV)

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