Who is My Neighbor?

We talked a lot about loving your neighbor this last weekend at the Inhabit conference I attended. Which is cool, because it is scriptural and Jesus did it and it is a great idea.

But I have been doing a lot of thinking about how to convince your neighbor that they WANT to be loved.

About two years ago my roommate Brittany and I decided to make cookies for all our neighbors so we could get to know them a bit more and start to build relationships with them. We spent hours cooking and wrapping and packaging and going door to door delivering them.

But here’s the thing – a good majority of our neighbors didn’t want them.
Or were afraid of them.
Or really didn’t like that we had knocked on their door and interrupted their afternoon.
Or felt it was an intrusion.
Or thought we were just plain weird.

How do you follow Christ’s example to love others when the other doesn’t want to be loved?
What if they would prefer that you don’t persist?
Is sometimes the best way to love your neighbor to look out for them but NOT come on their front porch and invade their privacy?

Or is that the only way to actually BECOME a neighbor? Do you have to sometimes awkwardly force yourself into relationship? Has our society created systems that make us believe we are an intrusion when actually we are not and we have to break that cycle?

How would you respond if someone walked up to your door? Do you take that as a grateful opportunity to get to know your neighbor more (even the Jehovah’s Witnesses) or are you annoyed that you had to pause your Netflix and get up off the couch?

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