The State Farm jingle, “Like a good neighbor, State Farm is there!” was written by Barry Manilow in 1971. Can you hear it? Are you humming yet? And are you a good neighbor? Hmmm. Am I?
Not long ago, I attended two different churches over two weeks, and listened to two different pastors give two different sermons on—you guessed it—being a good neighbor. They both used the story of the Good Samaritan, found in the book of Luke. (You can read it here on Bible Gateway.) Thanks to Ty VanHorn and Jason Dohring, I came away with quite the bullet list:
- Be living proof of a loving God to a watching world.
- Be neighborly.
- Don’t wait for someone else to be neighborly.
- Share a card. Or a wave. (Or a text? Or an email? Or a cup of soup?)
- Get messy.
- Be inconvenienced.
- Pay the price.
- Pay attention.
- Get involved.
And may I add a simple one? Be nice! My sister describes my husband this way, “He’s nice, but he’s not a wimp.” Being nice doesn’t equate to being weak. In fact, sometimes being nice—and being neighborly—means standing up in the face of injustice or unkindness and loving the less lovely. Why? Because we were loved first. As one of those two wise pastors said, “Being friendly takes little effort. Being a friend takes much.”
How have you been friendly, neighborly this week? We could all use a few good suggestions, so I hope you’ll post one here!