I was in a store. Getting a Christmas gift. Waiting my turn. No rush. I noticed a young couple behind me with two small children, really a toddler and a babe in arms. I told the store manager who was serving me he could take care of them first. They said thank you. A number of times. But it was the store manager that was most interesting. He said that one gesture of kindness restored his faith in humanity. In human kindness for no reward. Really? Really.
It got me thinking...and then the next morning my son's devotional covered the story of Jesus teaching about being a neighbour. Who is our neighbour and why. You know this story, right? Find it here if you are drawing a blank.
Today was Black Friday, the US version of Boxing Day in Canada. Or perhaps we are trying to catch up and with some stores having their own version we, too, have a Black Friday. Just without the stampedes but I digress.
My point, and question is this: how have you been a neighbour lately?
Note I didn't ask if you were being a good neighbour but a neighbour. Showing the fruits of the spirit to those around you. You remember those, right?
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.
So, using Galatians as our check list we can ask ourselves the questions...
- Have I shown my neighbour love, joy, peace, kindness?
- Have I exercised forebearance, goodness, faithfullness?
- Have I lived a spirit of gentleness and self-control?
I know it seems unfair to ask it but if we cannot show it then how can we expect people to see it?
If my one small act of kindness to a stranger showed them a bit of God's love and encouraged them to be kind, to show love, to work on patience then I have been a neighbour.
I don't need to be a nosy neighbour checking in to see if my actions are bearing fruit in your life. That is between you and God.
I don't need to stay in my own neighbourhood which can be where I live, shop, go to church. I can be a neighbour to anyone. To the least of these. When we are in the middle of being the least of them.
This Christmas season, let us begin by remembering to be good neighbours.
Share your ideas on being a good neighbour in comments, would love to have you bless us with your sharing!