“For the entire law is fulfilled in one statement: Love your neighbor as yourself.”Galatians 5:14
“Act wisely toward outsiders, making the most of the time. Your speech should always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you should answer each person.”Colossians 4:5-6
For the first few years after building our home in a new neighborhood, I would feel like I was on parade while waving to all the neighbors as we passed by. Many of us had young children who went to the same elementary. We’d walk our children to the school, pausing to greet one another, and share short conversations as we waited for our children to come out of the building at the end of the day.
We hosted gatherings for the ladies and community wide family events where we would visit and share about our lives. Many of the families who lived in our neighborhood were part of the same moms’ group as well.
Times have changed. Many of those children are now adults who have graduated and moved out on their own. Some of the original owners are still here, while other houses have changed possession multiple times.
Even when we aren’t spending time with our neighbors, we can have an influence on them. Some may be watching us. I had a neighbor stop by my porch one day to tell me that seeing me mow my lawn gave her the courage to mow her own. She’d had a mowing accident years before that left her afraid. That day, she stood tall, with a huge smile and a sense of confident peace. We enjoyed our celebration!
Another time, at a school concert, I saw a neighbor and mentioned a family member’s health issue. I wasn’t sure why I told her. But years later, while I was weeding my flower beds, she stopped by to tell me about one of her family members who was experiencing something similar, and she really wanted to talk with me because she knew I’d understand. We talked for a while, and planned a long lunch date to catch up.
We may not know what others are dealing with, but the Lord knows. Sometimes he has us be an example. Other times, a friend who walks alongside. Even when we aren’t connecting in life, we can connect through our prayers. Let’s take a prayer walk around our neighborhoods and ask the Lord to bless each family. Feel free to wave, smile, and say “Hi!” to those you pass by!
Thank you for our neighbors. Thank You for those who do life with us, and those that are just nearby. Help us to know how to be a positive example and how to reach out to those who could use a friend. Please bless these families.
In Christ’s name, Amen.
Journal: Take some time to think about your neighbors. Who are you close to? Ask the Lord who you could reach out to in the coming weeks.