The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.
Each of us should please our neighbors for their good, to build them up.
I have moved 56 times; and have had a lot of neighbors. I’ve had some great neighbors, and some real jerks; and no doubt most would say similar about me. We have always made it a point to introduce ourselves; meet family, pets etc.; and they know same about us. Like the DBO on 15 Sep we have done prayer jog/walks declaring protection, safety, healthy marriages, job security over individuals, families, and homes. We want a fortress around our home as our shield locks with other homes shields like the Greek phalanx. Our neighbors know where we stand on the big topics; they know we aren’t shy about beer and BBQs, that football season is the best time with “Roll Tide” and “Fly Eagles Fly”, that freedom matters as they see our flag hung proudly and illuminated at night, and these come with a cost and a warning if they know what the Gadsden flag represents. Then there is God.
We pray a lot that our actions don’t discredit our words as a Christian. I share with neighbors about TJC, pray with them when they express their concerns. But then they see me at some less “Jesus” like moments as I yell at the dog, or they hear a door slam, or I don’t stop completely at the corner. And do I really take time with them? We pack a lot into our schedules and can just be “busy” coming and going.
Building others up is not easy without investing real time. I’ve used “I” and “we” hear interchangeably as this involves my family. Real time means, acting off my scheduled desires. It means stopping while walking the kids and letting them play. It takes us from strangers who live next to one another to loving one another. TJC men take this a step even deeper - we share God, invite men to TJC events, we share DBOs, we do studies in our neighborhood and get into the word not really concerned about it being a listed church small group. We build each other up !
Daily Battle Order:
Invite two neighbors over to help you move a swing set, their opinion on a house improvement, opinion on your football draft picks- find something you need an assist with. Asking them to do something, will knock down obstacles. Offer them a cold one. Keep the dialog easy. Thank them, and let them leave. Next day thank them again, and ask if they need a hand with anything, keep the interaction going. Invite them over for wings - everyone loves wings, and pray over the food. Keep it light. You’re not shouting from a street corner someone is going to hell. You're being Jesus and sharing with genuine enthusiasm how blessed God has been to you.