"From the city's perspective, there isn't a noticeable difference in how Christians
and non-Christians neighbor in our community." -The Art of Neighboring
I'm an introvert. That means that while I really love people, I find interactions with strangers, large groups, and small talk very draining. This also means I'm an exceptional listener. And if we're in a small group or one-on-one I may talk your ear off.
But being an introvert makes it hard to initiate with new neighbors. For many years that fear of taking the first step kept me from getting to know my neighbors. And the longer I ignored the Great Commandent the more guilt and shame the enemy used against me. It was a vicious cycle in which the passage of time made it harder and harder to be a good neighbor.
We recently moved to Texas from our home state of Florida. God planted us in a small twelve-unit apartment building that is an ideal environment for relationships and community. God has used our move to invigorate our neighboring and give us a glimpse of what Biblical community looks like.
Over the years God has opened my eyes to some simple ways to connect with my neighbors that even an introvert can engage in. I'll share some of those practical tips with you beginning Monday. My examples will help introverts, extroverts, and anyone in between.
But today, start with prayer. If you're feeling anxious about getting to know your neighbors, ask God to make you brave. If like me you neglected relationships with those closest to you for quite some time, ask God to give you a fresh start. And if you're already on the path to engaging with your neighbors, ask God to help you to maximize all the opportunities He brings your way.
Where are you at on your neighboring journey? I'd love to hear from you in the comments below.
This post is part of the 31 Days of Neighboring series.