spaghettipie

Ask My Neighbor

I recently found an old acquaintance on Facebook. As I perused his bio info, his religious views caught my attention. Many of my friends fill in words like “Conservative,” “Christian,” or maybe even an “I love Jesus” . . .

Mark’s simply says: Ask my neighbor.

Wow. I’ve been thinking about that all week long. I did not take Mark’s comment to mean have I explicitly stated my beliefs, but rather do I live them out? I’m not sure my physical neighbors even know my name, much less could discern my religious views. What kind of opportunity am I missing to demonstrate Christ to them?

On top of that, at home the real us comes out. We may be great at pretending to be someone else or a different family at church or at the store, but in our homes we tend to let our guard down. A good friend recently considered buying the house next door to us. She commented to me something to the effect of “I’d be a little nervous to live next door to you. You might see me in moments I’m not sure I want you to see. I mean, you could potentially hear me yelling at my kids or husband. . .” And she’s right. Close relationship or not, your neighbors can see things that go on that others do not, just because they are physically present during a vulnerable time. Our neighbors can say whether or not we practice the religious views we espouse.

And I won’t even go on to the other metaphorical meanings of neighbor that we could explore, like those who are suffering in Darfur or Iraq or China.

When it comes down to it, I think it matters more what my neighbor says about what my religious views are than what I might tell you myself. And for me, that is very convicting.

So what would your neighbor say? Are you satisfied with that answer?

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10 comments

  1. spaghettipie,

    Just by responding to the question of “religious views” with the answer “ask my neighbor,” your neighbor says a lot about himself. My husband-pastor often preaches “If you want to know whether you are really “saved”, ask the people who live with you.”

    Thanks for sharing this thought; I hope many read it and are inspired, as I have been again, to take stock of how their actions do or don’t reflect Christ.

    Diane L. Harris
    http://www.steppingintothelight.net

  2. I was about to be a smart aleck and say, “Who is my neighbor?” but then you said something about Darfur, so now it wouldn’t be funny anymore.
    Sheesh.

  3. Sars

    My actual, physical neighbors would probably say “Who?”. That about says it all, I think. Something to think about, for sure.

  4. renae68

    Great insight! Thanks for making me stop and take another look at myself, through my neighbors’ eyes.

    Beautiful post, Tina.

  5. meh

    Great post, Tina!! I am working on that one!! There is always so much room to get better and it is never as easy as it feels like it should be. And whoever Heather is, you made me laugh. Thanks! (:

  6. We have some relatively new neighbors. Earlier this summer I was sharing with her about our faith and our church. She confessed that she knew I was a Christian, but her husband argued that we weren’t. Ever since then I’ve wondered what it is about us or our behavior that convinced him we were not followers of Christ.

    This is a great post. Definitely challenging.

  7. spaghettipie

    DH – Thanks so much for stopping by. The realization that this is true – that those who know us should be the ones to speak to our values – keeps sinking in deeper and deeper.

    JD – 🙂

    Heather – You always crack me up, friend.

    S – Mine too.

    R – I’m glad you stopped in. Yes! Through my neighbor’s eyes. I like that phrase.

    MEH – I agree. Why isn’t it easy?

    A – Me, too!

    T – Definitely an interesting thought to ponder. Perhaps one day you will be able to ask him.

    K – Glad you stopped in. I love it when I can tell you are catching up!

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