Luke 6:31-33 (ESV)
31 And as you wish that others would do to you, do so to them. 32 “If you love those who love you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. 33 And if you do good to those who do good to you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners do the same.
Robert Frost wrote that “good fences make good neighbors.” It’s true. But so does “being neighborly.”
I read a story about a family that took a trip in the used camper they had bought the year before. Unfortunately, they were still unfamiliar with many of the camper’s hook-ups and settings, which led to a mini comedy of errors as soon as they arrived at the grounds. Right away, they popped open the side panel and wrestled to get the sewer hose connected. The problem was, they forgot the panel was open above them, and they bonked their head. When they stepped backward, they scraped their back along the bottom latch. And that’s when they stood up and hit their head again. When they looked up, they noticed several veteran campers were intently taking in the entire scene.
Given the spectacle they had created, you’d think some of the more experienced campers nearby would have offered a helping hand. Instead, they were surprised by the distance they kept from them. They seemed almost offended by their inexperience. Over the course of the week, they did get to know some of the folks around them … after they took the initiative to say hello.
That story reinforced the importance of “being neighborly” with the people God has placed in our path. Whether it’s a family moving into your neighborhood, a new co-worker learning the ropes, or just a bumbling camper next to you, we should take the first step, extend to them the love of Christ, and help them feel welcome.
Dear Lord, we pray that we would be the neighbor You would have us to be. Hep us to reach out to those around us. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.