Won't You Be My Neighbor // Art of Neighboring, Part 1 [Devo]

Won't You Be My Neighbor? 

The Art of Neighboring, Part 1
I grew up as a military child, living in many different places over the years. This meant that my family lived on military bases, and our neighbors quickly became our family, since our relatives were often over 1,000 miles away. These were the people we had Thanksgiving with, celebrated birthdays and other milestones with, and even drew close to during the sad moments in life.

With this upbringing, after moving into a home of my own, I instantly saw each of my neighbors as my family, even before meeting them. I often looked for chances to introduce myself when I saw neighbors outside. With one particular family, those introductions grew into moments where we would let our dogs play together, then eventually have conversations about life. Though my neighbors attended a different church, I often invited them to The Ridge and Ridge events, especially to our serve days. They came many times and loved serving the community alongside us. When my husband and I moved, I was so sad to lose this family as our neighbors. I missed having a person to confirm that I did, in fact, close my garage door. I missed the real conversations we had about life. I missed the moments when I would text to see if they needed anything from the store.

At the same time, I was excited to get to know my new neighbors and for the opportunity to grow more meaningful relationships with them. God has truly blessed us with our new home and the neighbors that surround us. We even have a Ridge family in our backyard (literally)! We have prayed for each other and stepped up in times of need, helping with pets or assisting with a house problem. Another neighbor has been a joy to get to know… we love dropping off treats on their doorstep, and they do the same for us. Although this family does not attend The Ridge, they come with us to events to serve the community. One neighbor has kids in the same stage as our son, and we love  getting the kids together and connecting over the joys and struggles of parenting babies! My husband and I continue to be blessed by our neighbors, and we intentionally look for opportunities to return the favor.  

We can be certain that God has led us to where we are.

God gives us neighbors for many reasons. It may take years to get to know our neighbors and to learn why God led us to where we are. But we can be certain that He has led us to where we are. He is sovereign, and He has placed us in our homes, apartments, dorm rooms for a purpose! And part of that purpose is loving those right around us.

As we heard in the message this past Sunday, the Good Samaritan was someone who loved those around him. Jesus confirmed in Luke 10:27, this is one of the most important things for us, as Christians, to do:
“Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself.”
I challenge you this week to think about how you can love your neighbor as yourself.
Author: Jill Wargo, Ridge Kids Director
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