This passage has me on a hook:
15Exercise foresight and be on the watch to look [after one another], to see that no one falls back from and fails to secure God’s grace (His unmerited favor and spiritual blessing), in order that no root of resentment (rancor, bitterness, or hatred) shoots forth and causes trouble and bitter torment, and the many become contaminated and defiled by it–[Heb. 12:15 AMP]
Loving “thy neighbor” means a lot more to me now. Relationships of significance are by no means easy. Knowing where my responsibility begins and ends is taking my lifetime to learn, and in learning it I don’t expect I’ll by any means “arrive.” Perhaps I will only finally have a modicum of sociability. And then what of neighbor? When will I know that he has done his part? The idea of a neighbor has become associated with properly kept fences and lawns and polite conversation and the minimization of scandal. But I don’t think that’s right anymore. If my neighbor is the one at hand in need, as Jesus demonstrated in the parable of the Good Samaritan, than I must have an eye out for a neighbor, not in order to keep “the peace” or control my living situation, but because I myself am always neighbor–one at hand in need. This radical vulnerability, this eye for others, will always reveal my wounds, my needs, in the process of caring for this other, and perhaps this is why losing God’s grace, and becoming defiled by resentment is so much easier.