So you just moved into a new neighborhood. Or maybe someone just moved in next to you. You want to make a good impression, but you aren’t sure how. Mark 12:31 says to “love your neighbor as yourself,” but how do you go about doing that? As you engage in reaching the people in your community, here are 3 ways to be a good neighbor.
1. Establish true relationships.
Ask your neighbors what things they are currently celebrating in their life or what may likewise be bringing them down. Being a listening ear is a way to show true care and concern as you seek to establish genuine relationships in your community. By opening up the door to true friendship, we are then able to make room for more meaningful conversations.
2. Reflect the character of God.
As your conversations deepen, you may realize that your neighbors adhere to a completely different belief system apart from your own. They may serve a different god or multiple ones. By reflecting the character of the one, true God, you will be able to show what sets Him apart—how He is gracious, compassionate, slow to anger, and great in faithful love (Psalm 145:8). He provides for all of our needs (Matthew 7:11). We don’t have to fear (1 John 4:18). Even the demons know of Him and have to submit to Him (Luke 8:32). And He stands alone (Isaiah 44:6).
You can reflect His character by creating a space for community to flourish–whether that be through an inviting, physical space or just in the relational sense. Be the one who picks up the phone and says “Yes!” to a favor. Be the one who delivers a meal in a time of need. Simply show up when you know your presence would provide comfort. Be willing to sacrifice your time and your comfort for the sake of those around you.
3. Demonstrate bold, sacrificial love.
At the end of the day, it is because God loved us and told us to love others that we are able to be good neighbors—not just by our words but by our actions, too. This command is given to us in 1 John 4:18, as John writes, “Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth.” Yes, we are using our words to communicate the gospel, but we are also called to demonstrate these truths in the ways we boldly and sacrificially love our neighbors. As demonstrated in Acts 4:13, your boldness in communicating the truths of the gospel—through word and deed—will show the world that you have been with Jesus and that He is worth giving your life to.