Benjamin Franklin once said, “Be at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let every new year find you a better man.”
And Gilbert Chesterton was quoted as saying, “We make our friends; we make our enemies; but God makes our next door neighbor.”
As of five months ago, we have new neighbors. Already they are having to endure us and hopefully forgive us as we get a new house built — construction noise, a muddy road from trucks going in and out, traffic slowed down often to allow big trucks to back in and out of the driveway, etc. They have been gracious and friendly. The ones in front of us and beside us have introduced themselves and invited us to church. Great folks. Since we hope to stay in this location for a LONG time to come, we feel it is important to start building good relationships with them and hope they feel the same about us.
Truthfully, Steve and I have learned from our daughters as we’ve watched them be good neighbors. Firstborn Laura and her husband David moved 13 times in the first 15 years of their marriage. They figured out that taking the initiative was the best way to get started. Brownies became their special calling cards. Nothing fancy, even a box mix, but it has served them well. Who’s going to turn down a plate of fresh brownies delivered on their front doorstep by smiling people? And, our younger daughter Julie has hosted open house gatherings and chili suppers for her neighbors and recently went around with her husband Brian and their seven children caroling and delivering loaves of homemade pumpkin bread. They’ve set the bar high.
So here we are at the last weekend of this year’s Christmas season. Steve requested that I make goodies to share with all the neighbors within sight of our front porch. I made four different ones — Chocolate Chip Cloud Cookies, Fruitcake Bar Cookies, Easiest Red Velvet Cookies all found on one of my favorite websites www.SouthernPlate.com hosted by Christy Jordan from Alabama and Holiday Crack Candy found on Pinterest from www.delish.com. Feel free to follow the links and use any of them that sound good to you. We noticed the construction workers on our house taking a lunch break and shared some with them. We’re going around later to deliver tins to our neighbors, and Steve’ll take a big plate for the employees where he works tomorrow. Hopefully, these sweets will brighten days and deepen relationships.
You are likely WAY ahead of me on your holiday baking and sharing. Bravo!! If not, there’s still time. Go be a good neighbor. I believe it’s a very biblical endeavor.
Galatians 5:14 “For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”
Romans 15:2 “Each of us should please our neighbors for their good, to build them up.”
Romans 13:10 “Love does no harm to a neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.”