“And who is my neighbor?” (Luke 10:29).
If we’re being honest, a lot of us would admit that we like the idea of loving our neighbors more than actually getting to know them and investing part of our lives into theirs.
I’m sure your family’s schedule looks a lot like mine. You’re busy with work and kids and everything that goes into making that all run smoothly. If you’re introverted, maybe just breaking the ice with the couple next door and starting a conversation is hard. Then there’s this: What if our neighbors think we’re weird because of our Christian faith?
Not many of us are hoping for “weird,” especially if weird means our neighbors feel we’re approaching them with an agenda. Nobody wants to be “converted” or told to dress, to think, or to worship just like somebody else.
We do have good news to share, of course. But why not interact with the people around us the way Jesus did? Make an authentic connection with your neighbors. Get to know them. Care for them. Take a friendly interest in the daily rhythms of their lives.
The Lord wants us to reach out in His name and for His glory, but we need to rediscover the lost art of discipleship. After our conversation with author Amy Lively on our radio program today, I think you’ll see that engaging people without being weird isn’t as hard as we often make it out to be.
As with everything in life, you’ll need to rely on Christ’s strength, not your own. But there are a lot of really practical and simple ways for taking the initiative to follow what our Lord Himself said was the second greatest commandment: “Love your neighbor as yourself” (Mark 12:31).
God may have you right where you are, so you can reach someone that no one else can. They may be just waiting for someone to notice and care about them. Or maybe they’re a Christian, too, and can become your partner in praying for your neighborhood.
Amy has come up with a lot of solutions for being neighborly without being “pushy” or “weird.” She launched something she called “The Rosewood Café” for her neighbors. She’ll share that story today and offer some great insights for feeling more comfortable about getting to know your neighbors.