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June 22, 2021

The Good Neighbor


You can tell a lot about someone by their lawn, right?

I will be the first to admit that my lawn looks like a jungle most of the time. With my husband working long hours and a baby at home, our yard work falls towards the bottom of our priority list.

A couple months ago, our neighbors were setting up a fence in their yard. I could hear them talking through the window as they looked at our lawn. They made comments about how we must be “lazy young people” who don’t want to put in the time to make our yard look as nice as theirs. They had no idea that we’d just had a baby and that I had been in and out of the hospital. They had no idea my husband doesn’t work a 9-5 and that we serve at our local church on Sundays.

“You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge another, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things.” Romans 2:1

About a month later, I was carrying my baby girl out to the car and my neighbor saw me. “I forgot you had a baby!” she yelled from her porch. It took everything in me and the grace of God over me to not just ignore her and continue walking. I decided to tell her what had been going on in our world and her heart sank in compassion for us. Then I asked her how things were going for her. Total brokenness – hated her toxic job, relationship issues, no faith, and living in an empty house.

“A new command I give you; Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.” John 13:34

This situation opened my eyes to how we often pass judgment towards others based upon how the exterior of their life looks.

When someone’s “lawn” looks untamed and messy, instead of jumping to conclusions, why not extend a helping hand and ask how they are doing? Even those who seem to have it all together can be hurting the most on the inside. Especially in today’s social media world, the projection of people’s lives is not always what it seems.

As God’s people, instead of passing judgement, it’s time to get to the heart of people.

Instead of opening our mouths to slander others by what appears to be their reality, we must become a safe place for them to share their heart. This is why GROUPS are so incredibly important! No person can truly be free if they are living a lie. Everyone needs someone to be real with. So let’s continue to not live as the world does, but to love and lead others the way God calls us to!

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