In my last post, I talked about how loving your neighbor can involve some awkward feelings; especially in the initiation phases of your relationship when you are still in the public and social spaces of each other’s lives. This happens because there is still some mystery about who they are, who they think YOU are and how to best approach building the relationship.
One powerful little action
So, I’m going to help you out a little bit with one very brilliant idea that will make the process less awkward. Word on the street is it took many of the world’s top scientists years to figure this out; and I’m about to share it with you right now (the crowd cheers and reigns down applause). Just email me if you’d like to compensate me for it :). Here it is…
Hang out where you can be seen.
I know. You’re feeling let down. You thought it would be something much more complex, and maybe something you could sell on the black market. But hold on just a minute. Do we really understand the power behind this one little action?
Flipping the culture
You see, the culture you live in is designed for isolation and privacy. There’s a good chance you routinely drive down your street and into your driveway or garage or parking spot and enter your house or apartment without interacting with anybody. We have doors to the house inside of our garages, and we have blinds on windows that are usually closed to insulate us from the outdoor elements.
There’s also a good chance that you have a privacy fence in your backyard. Or maybe no one lives behind you and you spend most of your time in your backyard. Or maybe you don’t go outside all that much and spend most of your time in front of the TV. Or maybe you’ve got some sort of hobby that you’re addicted to when you’re not at work. Or maybe you’re addicted to Facebook.
Visibility creates opportunity
The common denominator here is that you can’t be seen – and that really hinders your chances at loving your neighbor and ultimately the call to all of us to build Kingdom community life.
So, if you want to answer this call and live a Kingdom lifestyle, figure out how to adjust so that you and your family are more visible to those who live around you. If you hang out in the backyard, move to the front. If you are always watching TV, go sit on the porch. If you walk on a treadmill, walk around the neighborhood. If you always read your book in the recliner, read it in a lawn chair.
Then, watch as the opportunities to build relationships with those around you present themselves in unique ways – all because you spent time in visible spots where interaction could naturally take place.
Now it’s your turn. Have any pointers that will help build relationships between neighbors?