Being a good neighbor sounds like something out of an insurance commercial, but it’s actually a big theme throughout the New Testament. It’s the idea that each of us is somehow placed by God where he wants us in the world (see Acts 17:26). In a world where cocooning has become natural and social distancing takes that even further, it is more challenging than ever to figure out what being a good neighbor even means.
As confusing as these times may be, Galatians 5:14 defines it clearly… ‘For the whole law can be summed up in this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”’ Similarly, Luke 6:31 – the source of the Golden Rule – says… “Do to others as you would like them to do to you.”
I think in this unprecedented season, it might be more important than ever to be good neighbors. To love those around us as ourselves. Yes, even to those who don’t take care of their yard or let their dogs run wild or who callously break your neighborhood association’s rules.
Right now, even in a season of “social distancing” we can be a good neighbor. We can call or text, wave or yell across the street. We can check-in to see how the people around us are doing. We ask them if they need anything. We can remind them they are not alone, and that we are all in this together. We can even offer to pray for them – in the moment, or sometime later if the opportunity to present itself.
Perhaps now – more powerfully than ever before – simply things like kindness and gentle concern for others may be the window through which others glimpse the beauty of the community of the kingdom of God on earth, and through which they may their way back to God.
In this season, let’s be a good neighbor and show ourselves as true followers of Jesus, loving others in the same way He loves us.