Love Your Neighbor

Am I the only person here who has lived next to someone for years and not even know their name? As Christians, we are called to love our neighbors. In Luke 10, Jesus gives us the story of the Good Samaritan. The main thrust of the story is that all of humanity is your neighbor. In my adult life I’ve found that it’s easy to travel to places far away to love and serve people, but it’s been hard to love my neighbors. Why? Because I didn’t know them.

Paul writes in Ephesians 5:16 “make the best use of the time, because the days are evil.” One day you will move, they will move, or one of you will die. God has put you in the neighborhood that you are in so that you can love and share the life changing message of the gospel with your neighbors. Jesus’ body was broken, and his blood was shed so that you and your neighbors could be brought to God. So we should try to make the best use of every opportunity to build relationships with our neighbors.

5 Ways To Know And Love Your Neighbors This Halloween

  1. Sit outside your house with candy

If you live in a neighborhood where people trick or treat, then get some lawn chairs and sit outside while children come by to trick or treat. Waiting inside your house for children to knock on your door limits your ability to interact with parents. Sitting in the front of your house with a bowl of candy will give you the ability.

  1. Have good candy

Growing up we all liked eating butterscotch candies at grandmothers house, but if you’re giving out the same candy that your grandmother would have in her house, you’re doing it wrong. Go out and buy the candy children like. Many stores right now have bags of candy on BOGO (By One Get One) so getting normal candy shouldn’t break the bank. As years go by children know which house has the best candy and you will gain credibility. Also it should go without saying, but please do not give out invite cards to Core Community Church taped to pennies. Children hate that, and it is counter-productive. If you are going to hand out invite cards to church, please give them with a handful of the delicious candies that children love.

  1. Provide something for the parents

I’ve gone with friends trick or treating before and I have to say, depending on how far you go, it can take a lot out of you. In addition to sitting outside and handing out candy, why not have something for the parents? You can wheel out the grill and cook up hot dogs or hamburgers, or perhaps just hand out bottles of water for the parents. This can open up conversations with your neighbors.

  1. Go Trick or Treating

If you have children, see if you and your family could go trick or treating with a neighbor that also has kids. This will help you and your neighbor stay sane. It will also provide time for you to interact with your neighbors and help you get to know them and be known by them. Remember, we don’t really love our neighbors if we don’t know them.

  1. Go out

If you’re like me, and you don’t have kids, and you live in a place where no one trick or treats, then go to a Halloween party, a local hangout that is doing something for Halloween, or to a friend’s neighborhood to help them get to know their neighbors. While you are there, commit to learn some names and at least one new person’s story. Then go home and pray that God will show you how to speak the gospel into that person’s life.