What Kind of Neighbor Are You?

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To live faithfully in your community, you must ask yourself if you’re willing to truly be a neighbor. Are you willing to live out of a posture of generous hospitality?

Being a neighbor is something entirely different from merely having neighbors. Being a neighbor requires action, responsibility, care. To be a neighbor, you must become an active participant within your community, giving as well as receiving, bringing your skills and talents as well as your brokenness.

Far too often we build walls and then sit back and wait for people who are willing to exert the time and energy to break them down. If no one does, we get disillusioned and complain that we can’t find community. Being an active participant in your community means advocating truth rather than lies, allowing others to see your brokenness rather than building walls, being honest and loving instead of creating more hurt.

One of the best things you can do in your twenties is to be an active creator of community. Community doesn’t just happen, and waiting through your twenties for community to land in your lap will likely leave you feeling more lonely than connected.

There is no one-size-fits-all picture of how community in your twenties will look. It will look different for everyone. But there is hope. It’s possible to live well in community even if you feel more like a tourist than a pilgrim, or even if your days in a particular community are numbered. As Drew and I said earlier, community isn’t about how long you’ll be in a place; it’s about showing up and being present each day. It’s about fighting for connection and fighting against isolation.

No matter what kinds of communities you find yourself in, a vision for living implicated in each place should include the following:

  • Make an intentional choice to dwell in your community regardless of how many days you think you have there.
  • Commit to learning as much about your place as possible, and look for small ways to be an active participant.
  • Begin the process of moving from being a tourist to becoming a pilgrim.
  • Engage your community with a posture of generous hospitality.

Whenever we choose to invest in a place, we must first have eyes to see. When we have eyes to see, we’re able to take in the true nature of a place—its joys and challenges, its strengths and weaknesses. When we have eyes to see our surroundings, we are implicated in them. Then we can begin to be an active creator in the community.

You’ve been reading with Dr. Drew Moser and Jess Fankhauser from Ready Or Not: Leaning into Life in Our Twenties. Read the first chapter here. Dive deeper on your calling and vocation on Drew’s website- understandyourcalling.com.



2 thoughts on “What Kind of Neighbor Are You?”

  1. Thank you for these insights about community. I’d like to point out that they apply not only to people in their 20’s. I live in a 55 and over community and everything you said applies to our community as well. The main difference is that at our age, we realize life is finite and most of us are actively working to live your “vision” of four steps for however long we are blessed to be together. It’s the most connected, caring community I have ever shared.

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