Day 8: Thankful for Neighbors

Every November, I use the space here on Everyday Truth to provide you with a family devotional to get your family focused on their blessings. Join me here every day for a new installment of the devotional. It’s a great way to get your family focused on Thanksgiving before the mad rush to Christmas. You can find the the days you’ve missed here and any printables here, then follow along with me all month to learn about being thankful for the people in your family’s life. Pin it, share it, tweet it, invite your friends to join you. It’s going to be a great month.

A Thankful Heart

Think about the people who live next door to you or the people who live across the street. We all have neighbors. Usually, we don't get to choose our neighbors. They are people that we live near and see all the time, but they might not necessarily be our friends. We might not know them very well or they might be our best friends. No matter who they are, God planted us in this neighborhood with these neighbors for a reason.

Neighbors are important because they are the people closest to us by distance. If your mom runs out of sugar when she's baking a cake, she might send you to the neighbor's house to borrow some sugar. She's probably not going to call your grandma who lives three states away to ask if she can borrow a cup of sugar. If a fire truck or ambulance shows up at your house, it's your neighbors who are going to be the first to offer help -- even if you don't know them very well. If you're home alone and you need some immediate help, you probably have the phone number of a neighbor or two that you can call.

Living in a neighborhood means we have the opportunity to meet all sorts of different people -- people who may be a lot like us or not like us at all. We can learn new things from the people who live around us. And we can sometimes learn how to love people we might not hang out with at any other time. Neighborhoods are a great mixing bowl where all types of people get thrown together in close quarters and have to learn to get along.

And don't think living in your neighborhood is a mistake. God put your family in your specific neighborhood so that you can love your neighbors. Don't believe me? Check out Galatians 5:14 says "For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'" That means that everything that God wants us to do can be summed up by loving our neighbors. Now, according to Jesus, our neighbors are actually everyone we come into contact with during the day, but it also applies to the people who live around us in our neighborhood. Loving your neighbor is important to God, and it should be important to us, too.

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Action step: Take some time today to be thankful for your neighbors. Thank God for them by name. Then do something nice for your neighbors this week. Make a batch of cookies and deliver them around your neighborhood. Be the leaf-raking crew and rake the neighbors' leaves. When it snows this winter, shovel someone else's sidewalk without expecting to be paid. Be creative, but choose a way to serve your neighbors this week.