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Friday, May 6, 2011

What Does Your Neighbor Say about You?

Matthew 5:16 (New International Version)

In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.

Bill and Mary were a couple living in a downtown apartment complex in a somewhat rough part of town. They were not married and their lifestyle consisted of alcohol, drugs, and practically anything that would give them a sense of worldly pleasure. They knew nothing about God. Bill would often look out his apartment window and view the surrounding neighborhood. The people below were always fighting and yelling, and many times helicopters were circling overhead. But, there was one family that lived right behind Bill and Mary. Bill could easily observe their backyard from across the alley.

These people were different. In sharp contrast to the rest of the neighborhood, they never said anything unkind or raised their voices at each other. Instead they were always loving and considerate. Bill was somewhat perplexed by this behavior. Then one day while the family was away, their dog, (we'll call him Bowser) got into the trash and spread garbage all over the back yard. Bill thought to himself, "When this guy gets home I am finally going to see him lose it with this dog." He watched and waited.

A short time later, the family returned and this is what Bill witnessed. The man came out of the back door, looked down at Bowser, and in a soft tone said, "Oh Bowser," and proceeded to pick up the trash. That was it!

Bill was furious. He wanted to beat that dog himself. The next day Bill and Mary were walking down the street. They spotted the couple and walked over to them.

Bill wanted to meet them and was warmed by their tender and polite response. After exchanging some small talk, the couple invited Bill and Mary over to their house for dinner. That Friday night, seated around the family dinner table, Bill and Mary accepted Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Savior; all because they observed the unique and Godly behavior of a neighbor.

So, what would your neighbor say about you?

Dear Lord we pray that we would be the kind of neighbor that will bring our neighbors to You. Help us to handle the things that come our way in a matter that is an example of You. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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