Do you know your neighbors? It’s fairly common around here in 2015 to hear somebody admit that they really don’t, which seems a bit strange given the fact that most of us could easily throw a rock and hit several of our their houses. They live that close to us, yet we don’t know them.
This fact puts us in an awkward position given that Jesus calls us to love our neighbors (Matthew 22:39). How can we love our neighbors but not know them? Is that even possible? God has given us the home we live in in the neighborhood we live in in the city we live in that we might love our neighbors to Jesus.
We want to reach the world, right? Then let’s start with our neighbors and begin first with getting to know them. Here are 5 tips to getting to know your neighbors this summer:
- Deliver some freshly baked goods. This is a nice and easy way to show love to people. Even if they never eat it, it is the gesture that counts.
- Have a cookout. Summer is here, and it’s time to grill stuff! Inviting neighbors to a cookout is a great way to get to know them because being outdoors removes some of the anxiety of getting to know new people. Plus, who doesn’t love a cookout?!
- Offer to lend a hand. The next time you see your neighbor doing something, offer to give them a hand finishing the project. They may just take you up on it, and the doors of communication may open up.
- Ask to borrow some sugar. The next time you are in the middle of baking something and realize that you are out sugar, don’t run to the store. Run next door. Asking to borrow a kitchen staple can take away the fear that you had about talking to your neighbor and will set you up for lots of future conversations.
- Spend more time outside. Back before air conditioners, folks sat outside more. I’m not wishing for your A/C to break, but I am wishing that you would make an effort to be outside more. The reason we often don’t know our neighbors is that we drive into our garages, walk into our house, and stay there until bedtime, never even giving our neighbors a chance to know us. The more you are outside, the more likely you are to get to know your neighbors.
Perhaps you were looking for a more “spiritual” list, but sometimes the best way to begin winning people to Jesus is to do the most common of things. Before you can love your neighbor, you must know your neighbor. Don’t waste the awesome opportunity the Lord has given you to do so this summer!