Knowing Our Neighbors
We are all aware of the commandments to love our neighbor. Jesus and a young man have an exchange about the greatest commandments and they settle on loving God with your all and loving your neighbor as yourself. We ask ourselves, what does that mean for us living in 21st century America? We live in a society where we are increasingly connected to people in other cities, states and even other countries though cell phones, email, Facebook, and all kinds of social media platforms. We also live in a world where we are less and less likely to know the people living next door. As a society, we don’t see a lot of people sitting on the front porch or visiting with their neighbors. We are more likely to live in our backyard or inside. So, we ask again. What does it mean to love your neighbor? And if that is important, then how do I do it?
If, like me, you don’t know all of your neighbors at all and know very few on a deeper level then there are some practical things we can do. First, be intentional about getting to know your neighbor. You can make it a priority and start looking for way to meet them. Our brains are wonderful and powerful things and they have a way of figuring out how to do what we want. It is like when you start looking for a certain type of car to buy and then start seeing that car everyone. Once your brain knows that type of car is a priority, then it has the ability to bring it to your attention at different times all throughout the day. I think the same is true with our neighbor. If we make it a priority to meet them, then our brain will start noticing and pointing out all the opportunities.
The second thing we can do is get a little bit outside of our comfort zone. We have to be willing to take a step or two outside of our comfort zone and try something a little bit different. If we keep living our life the same and doing everything the same, then we will keep getting the same results. I know that we all have different comfort zones, so taking that step outside will look different for each of us. The important thing is for you to identify what that will look like and take a step in that direction.
Peace be with you,
Rev. Jeremy Pressgrove