Thursday, May 28, 2015

How To Love Your Neighbor Without Being Werid

**This post may contain sponsor, affiliate, and/or referral links. I have been given a PDF of  How to Love Your Neighbors Without Being Weird by Amy Lively free of charge in exchange for this review. However, the opinions in this post are my own. For more information please read my full disclosure statement here. 

Before we moved, we lived in an apartment building. Despite being on top of each other we didn't know too many of our neighbors. We were close to one family though, our neighbors living directly above us, a three generational family. Granny, her son and her five year old grandson. After living there for a year we had become close and it all started with a loaf of zuchini bread.

I had an entire batter for zuchini bread ready to go except when I opened the pantry for my last ingredient I discovered we were out. I really didn't want to stop the preheating oven and wake my sleeping toddler to go to the grocery store for one item. So, I did the next best thing .. I knocked. On my neighbor, who i didn't know very wells door and asked for a cup of vegetable oil. She graciously gave me what I needed and I was able to finish baking. As a thank you I knocked on her door again with a warm loaf of zuchini bread in hand. This began a nice relationship with my neighbors upstairs. 

When we saw each other outside we would chat, she would always spoil my son with chocolate m&ms and animal crackers and I would always give her some of what I baked. I would go up and check on her every now and again and when she had a bad fall outside she felt comfortable enough to knock on my door so I could help her clean and bandage her wounds. 

Every now and again I would feel it on my heart to share God and Jesus with her, but I never did. I didn't want to come off weird or strange. No way, that was the last thing I wanted,so I kept quiet and never said anything. It is the one thing I regret when looking back on my time with Granny. 

The problem, and my excuse, was that I didn't know how to talk to my neighbors well, let alone about something as controversial as God and Jesus. I am definitely not the only one who has trouble with sharing my faith with my neighbors.

Amy Lively, the author of How to Love Your Neighbors Without Being Weird went through it as she was called to begin a neighborhood bible study. Through her book she shares her experiences, successes and failures as well as tried and true ways to Love your neighbors, as God calls us to do,without being off putting about it.

"It's an investment into people's lives, and that can be messy. I don't know where to start, what to say, or how to be. I'm afraid. 
The thought of knocking on my neighbors' doors made my knees knock. I hid behind my logical excuses, rational defenses, and stubborn resistance." 
-Amy Lively, How to Love Your Neighbors Without Being Weird

Here are some tips she suggests to help you get to know your neighbors.

  • "Being content in our neighborhoods means being patient, determined, and persistent. Aristotle said, "The desire for friendship comes quickly; friendship does not." Modest folks in modest homes are of great value to God, and He smiles at our modest moves toward friendship." 

  • "That friendship could lead to the opportunity to tell them about Jesus Christ. However, their reaction is not your responsibility. Jesus will handle eternity; you just think about today." 

  • Figure out your spiritual gift from God, and use it! "Tucked inside each of us is a very special spiritual gift from our heavenly father. He spared no expense to bring this gift to you; He paid for it with the precious blood of His only Son." 

  • Do not be afraid! - "So be strong and courageous! Do no be afraid and do not panic before them. For the Lord your God will personally go ahead of you. He will neither fail your nor abandon you. Deuteronomy 31:6"

How to Love Your Neighbor Without Being Weird really was the perfect kick in the butt for me! I had given myself every excuse in the book as to why I couldn't share God and God's love with my neighbors and a BIG one was I was worried I would come off as weird! This book really breaks it down giving practical advice and tips as to how to go about getting to know your neighbors. What I love most about it though is the deep biblical truth that it holds. God calls us to love our neighbors and that doesn't mean our neighbors who are just like us or our neighbors around the world. It means actually getting to know our neighbors and loving them.

And you absolutely can do that without being weird.

Make sure you are ready to accept God's call to love your neighbors after you read this book! 
"I should warn you that you're on the hook now that you've read this book. You have no excuse for not loving your neighbor, and you don't even have to be weird about doing it."
-Amy Lively, How to Love Your Neighbors Without Being Weird

Though I had excuses as to why I couldn't share in our old home, now I really have no excuse what so ever so not show love to my neighbors and share the good news with them because I have How to Love Your Neighbors Without Being Weird in my tool box! 

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