Growing up I lived in the same subdivision from the time I was four years old until I left for college at 18 years of age. The Ashmore’s lived on one side of us, and the Johnson’s on the other. Our small cul-de-sac housed only five homes. We were like family.
Back then it was not uncommon if you ran out of butter, sugar or eggs to send a kid over the fence to the backdoor of the neighbor’s house and ask if you could borrow. And borrow is such a funny word, because really everyone on Sewing Circle knew you were never returning that half cup of sugar and egg. Never would a neighbor consider turning your request down, as long as they had the ingredients to meet your need.
Proverbs 3:27-35 talks a whole lot about how we are to treat our neighbors. In the context of this scripture it truly is talking about those living around you, on your street, in your neighborhood.
The Bible tells us, “When it is in your power, don’t withhold good from the one it belongs to.
Don’t say to your neighbor, “Go Away! I will give it tomorrow, when it is there for you.” It goes on to say, “Don’t plan harm against them, because he trusts you and lives near you. Don’t accuse him without cause, when he has done no harm to you.”
Solomon says in verse 33, “The Lord’s curse is on the household of the wicked, but he blesses the home of the righteous.”
So within these few verses we have the principles for a happy neighborhood:
1. Look after the needs of your neighbors. Help when you can. 2. Be kind, don’t plan to harm them. 3. Mutual trust and respect is good for the neighborhood. 4. The Lord doesn’t bless wicked households. 5. But he blesses the home of those living right.
So how are we doing? Are we loving our neighbors? Are we looking after their needs when we can? Let’s all try to remember outside our homes they are our nearest mission field. It matters how we live and how we treat them.
What’s the nicest thing your neighbor has ever done for you or your family?