As a kid who grew up in the last century (wink wink) we knew our neighbors. We didn’t do anything, good or bad, that our Momma didn’t know about before we got home. We borrowed eggs and sugar as needed. We took food over when someone was sick or there was a death in the family. We shared recipes, tools and we helped each other out with difficult tasks.
Today we tend to cross our threshold, stay inside and rarely venture past our own front door. Contact with our neighbors can be sparse and then only when deemed absolutely necessary. Being neighborly seems to have become a thing of the past, that is unless we make it a priority to become a good neighbor.
Romans 15:2 NIV
“Each of us should please our neighbors for their good, to build them up.”
This verse doesn’t say that we should only be friends with our neighbors if they are just like us. Perhaps our neighbors aren’t Christians, or maybe they are cranky, cantankerous, or down right weird, but that is an even better reason to be an example of a good neighbor for Jesus. We are called to ‘please our neighbors for their good, to build them up’. Our daily lives as believers, our everyday walking around and talking lives, might just be the thing that draws our neighbors to want to know more about Jesus. Remember this truth, we may be the only person that our neighbors know who has a real relationship with Jesus. Being a good neighbor is modeling Christ, right in our own backyard.
Front porches offer us havens for sharing and friendship. Backyard barbecues, balcony conversations, neighborhood walks or even returning misdirected mail might be an opportunity for us to become a positive influence on our neighbors. Maybe we don’t have a porch or even a yard for that matter, but reviving the community strength in our neighborhood begins with us.