Try Liking Your Neighbor – Ice Breaker
Key Bible Verse: A servant of the Lord must not quarrel but must be kind to everyone, be able to teach, and be patient with difficult people. – 2 Timothy 2:24
Bonus Reading: Mark 12:28-31
We have two very unfriendly neighbors: a man who lives three doors down and a woman who lives half a block up our street. When we first moved into our home, they didn’t wave, smile, or in any way acknowledge our attempts to be neighborly. I figured I didn’t have time for mean people, so I basically ignored them. I wasn’t mean, but I wasn’t kind either.
Then I began to pray about taking this whole “Love thy neighbor” thing seriously. I decided to wave, honk, and smile any time I drove by them. This had nothing to do with getting them to wave back. It had everything to do with my willingness to love them even if they weren’t loving to me.
For weeks I did this. I even took my two-year-old over to introduce myself to one of them. (I figured the two-year-old might disarm some of the meanness.) We had a great talk, and my son picked up some new and colorful words. I just asked this guy how long he’d lived in the neighborhood. It was amazing to hear his life story.
And the mean woman up the street actually waved back at me three weeks ago. I couldn’t believe it.
—Mike Erre in The Jesus of Suburbia
My Response: Whom might God be prompting me to befriend?
Thought to Apply: We make our friends; we make our enemies; but God makes our next-door neighbor. —G.K. Chesterton (English journalist & writer)
Adapted from The Jesus of Suburbia (W Publishing, 2006)