HOW TO WIN “NEIGHBOR OF THE YEAR” AWARD
(by Joseph Aldrich, modified by Nick Costello)
MAKE THESE QUALITIES PART OF YOUR LIFE AND YOUR NON-CHRISTIAN NEIGHBORS WILL NOTICE!
- Be warm, friendly, open, accepting, have a joyful spirit.
- Don’t be critical or judgmental. Don’t be a hypocrite.
- Have firm convictions. Know what you believe.
- Invite them to church events. Offer to take them with you.
- If they need help you can’t give, help connect them to someone or an agency who can.
- Be hospitable. Invite them to your social events. Make regular visits to say ‘hello’ and check on them.
- Help them with home repairs, give them surprise gifts like cookies, pies, etc.
- Serve your neighbor and help meet any heart-felt needs.
- Be kind to your neighbors kids and love them.
- Be sensitive to the needs of your neighbor.
- Let your neighbors see you’re family and home centered.
- Let them see you express your love for your wife and family.
- Build relationships with your neighbors whenever possible.
- Be involved in community activities.
- Be willing to help your neighbors and do so when the need arises.
- Radiate the fruit of the Holy Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, self-
control. (Gal. 5:22-23)
- Do all you can to live in peace with your neighbor.
- Be real, honest and genuine. Be a good listener to their problems even if they don’t interest you.
- Offer them Christian literature to help with their struggles.
- Find common ground. Take an interest in their interests.
- Pray for your neighbors and let them know you do so.
- If you are harsh or offend a neighbor, ask forgiveness.
- You may be misunderstood or made uncomfortable around non-Christian neighbors. That’s normal and OK.
You are the salt and light in your neighborhood. God has planted you there as His ambassador for His Kingdom. Your neighbors may not be listening to you, but they are watching you. They want to see what a Christian is like before they consider becoming one. The light of Christ shining through you will be visible in acts of compassion, service and love.
Remember, when associating with the lost, you were just like them once. What you see and hear from neighbors may not be wholesome, may be evil, like dirty jokes, pictures, movies, etc. Don’t be afraid to excuse yourself if need be. Resist the temptation to participate in anything questionable or which compromises your godly values. We should need to associate with the lost as Christ did, but we must be careful we don’t become like them by our involvement with them. The Bible warns us, “Bad company corrupts good character.” (1 Cor. 15:33) Your light will shine in their darkness. It may expose their sin to them, remind them of their shortcomings or that they haven’t been to church.