Thoughts on blessing our neighbor


It’s been cold the past few months around here, so during the day, I tend to stay indoors. Same can be said about our entire street. So I guess that’s why I had no idea that a local neighbor was expecting their second child. I happened to run into the grandmother on the playground (since it was finally a beautiful spring day), and she brought me up to speed. The mom just had their baby, 2 days ago. Sadly, they had no one to help provide meals (besides Grandma), so I volunteered to swing over dinner at some point.

How to bless?

As I was thinking about what I could make for this family, I had an epiphany. It’s always bothered me when a Christian non-profit goes somewhere (i.e. another country, for example) to do some kind of “good” (i.e. feed the poor, build a building, paint a room, etc). But then, it seems as if it ends there. Little to no teaching others about Jesus. Just helping people with their temporary needs, essentially disregarding their immortal souls. That sounds dramatic, but if you think about it, that’s what it is.

And then I realized that’s sort of what I was planning on doing. I was going to drop off food, not giving our neighbors any kind of idea why our family was choosing to feed and bless them. There’s nothing wrong with feeding another family (obviously), but there’s something off when it stops there.

Of course, I don’t want to come into any situation with guns blazing, ready to immediately ask our unsuspecting neighbors if they know Jesus. And if not, they need to repent, and invite Him into their lives as their LORD and Savior. But where do we draw the proverbial line? What’s appropriate and what isn’t?

Standing strong

So that made me think about another podcast I was listening to. The podcast was The Victor Davis Hanson show and he was interviewing someone who was talking about the very strong personality of Trump. Now whether you love him or hate him, one thing is clear – he knows who he is, and he doesn’t care much if that bothers you or not. For example, many people tried to dissuade him from moving the American embassy to Jerusalem. He did it anyway, even when some said people would lose their minds and there could be a war. But guess what? Nothing happened. And the reason why (it was argued) was because essentially strength and conviction begets respect. In other words, those who opposed the embassy being relocated to Jerusalem may have been angry about the decision, but they respected the boldness it took to make the move. So no one lost their minds, and the American embassy now sits in Jerusalem for the first time (I believe, ever).

And that made me think about the Church and how we fall so short of commanding that kind of respect. It’s not about being a bull in a china shop. It’s about having such strong convictions, that others will minimally recognize and respect Who we represent. I’m not sure when Christians started what comes down to, apologizing for our faith. But I believe we have. And do. At least, I know I have.

Tolerating lunacy

By contrast, take the situation when a man dresses as a woman (and looks absolutely ridiculous), but unflinchingly demands to be addressed as a woman. Crazily enough, many of us appease the insanity and agree to the demands, even when we know it’s wrong. That takes a whole lot of conviction from said man. Enough to impose his convictions on those around him. He is definitely not keeping his thoughts to himself.

The solid rock

But how much more so should we be walking with conviction as Believers in Christ? Granted, we can and should point to (i.e. blame) God’s Word as the fountainhead of Truth and authority. We are not making this stuff up ourselves as we go. However, we should never apologize for our beliefs. Not if we truly believe that God is good, and that all truth is God’s truth. If it offends, oh well. Facts don’t care about our feelings, right?

Blessing our neighbor

To bring it back to my conundrum with our neighbor, I have been mulling over how our family can not only be the hands and feet of Jesus, but His heart as well. And since our neighbors have that younger child, I’ve decided to share a few children’s bible stories with them, along with a homemade meal. The simple truths shared in so many of these bible books are a wonderful and fruitful way to share the gospel with someone who may not initially listen or be interested. Plus, with the baby getting so much attention, it’s nice to give a little extra attention to the next oldest sibling. (:=

First Bible Basics is my first pick. It has so much theology packed in, while still being a simple counting book for children. Along with that, The Man Who Preached Outside, since who couldn’t use a little George Whitefield? Even very young children (or adults!) can be blessed by these stories!

Truth, grace, love, conviction

My point is that we don’t have to be pushy, certainly not like the world is. But we can stand firmly on the truth of God and boldly share it with our neighbors in a gracious way. Not that there’s any one way that works. Mine is just an example. But I know personally, I don’t ever again want to apologize for my convictions as a Believer in Christ. And since we are called to love our neighbor, we should share the Truth of God’s Word with them. That is not only the right thing to do, but it may even bring respect from the enemies of Christ.

Regardless of the outcome, He is worth the push back. He’s worth it all. For our good, and His glory. Amen?

©2024 Mud Hen Mama


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