February 28, 2017/Like a Good Neighbor

“Like a good neighbor….”

Barry Manilow.

Yes, thanks to Barry we still hear that famous State Farm theme song today. Too bad that he only received five hundred dollars for one of his most famous jingles, but I doubt he’s losing much sleep over it since he went on to greater things in the ’70’s.

You have to admire someone who can put together a catchy tune and a great turn of phrase to get their point across in mere seconds. Most people would recognize the parable of the Good Samaritan but the Bible has plenty of other verses to offer on how Christians should look at their neighbors.

Ephesians 4:25-Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbor: for we are members one of another.

Zechariah 8:16 & 17-These are the things that ye shall do; Speak ye every man the truth to his neighbor; execute the judgement of truth and peace in your gates: And let none of you imagine evil in your hearts against his neighbor; and love no false oath: for all these things are things that I hate, saith the Lord.

Neighbors can be friends or foes. They can run in-and-out of each other’s houses, come to your aid when you truly need help, or wave and move on without stopping to know your name. They can bring on envy for the ‘perfect’ lawn, child, marriage, or car. They can rejoice with you over births and marriages and grieve with you upon deaths or loss of a job.

How we treat our neighbor tells a lot about our attitude toward God and whether we care for others. Do we speak truth if our dog gets in our neighbor’s trash? If our kids cut through our neighbor’s yard? Do we gossip over what we ‘think’ we may see going on inside their house? Do we attempt to make peace and ignore the ‘small stuff’ rather than have ongoing sniping over blowing leaves or trash.

Are you there for your neighbor?

One of my favorite musicals was ‘1776’. I loved the music, the story, the actors and actresses, and most of all the DIALOGUE! It was such a fun, well-written tribute to the founding of our nation. At one point, the great actor William Daniels who played John Adams questions just what he is doing: “Is anybody there? Does anybody care?”

Is YOUR neighbor saying that about you today?

Perhaps, today is the day when you should reach out to your neighbor. Make an effort to truly take a moment and make contact with your neighbor. Offer truth and peace. Remind yourself that, like the popular Canadian comedian says in his RED GREEN show: “We’re all in this together!”

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