Andyouinvitedmein’s Weblog

…but what will the neighbors think?

Posted on: March 2, 2008

2c-copy.jpg (Dad in Japan around 1947)

In our part of the world it seems that people are worried about the neighbor’s opinion. I’ve mentioned my next door neighbor who didn’t take care of his dog. Well, he moved and abandoned the dog on the deck of his house. Therefore, it never mattered to this neighbor what I thought or did.

On the other hand, we all have our close relations with whom we are intimately tied. It might be our family, pastor, or best buddies. As well we might be doubly connected by traditions such as membership in a certain church or organization. Sometimes instead of going with God, we’ll yield to peer pressure just to keep things copasetic. It takes a lot of strength to swim against the the tide of common belief or practices.

Let me share something that happened to me in 1976. My father was almost a “yellow dog Democrat”; however, he repeatedly said voting was our right and to vote for the person of our choice. That year I decided to vote for Gerald Ford. Over dinner I told him how I voted, and he was furious. As we dined on catfish and hush puppies I learned there were conditions on my “voting privilege”.

This issue of a neighbor’s influence is much bigger than voting, and it’s all about doing what is right. Your potential actions may appear radical to your neighbors. As with any radical decision, you can expect questions and looks of disapproval. For example, you tell your church fellows you’re taking the local porn king to lunch—not much will be said. However, if you begin having a regular lunch with Mr. Porn King, then you might hear something like this: Not that we don’t trust you, Bubba, but are you leading him to the Lord or are you there because you

What happens when you feel God’s tug at your heart with family and friends who are gay (or whatever is happening within your world that needs attention)? Can you enjoy lunch, a ball game, a home decorating show with them and do nothing but love them like Jesus would love them? Remember when he went home with Zacheus? This was an example of perfect love. Perfect mercy. It is like the Amish with the family of the shooter. It is what God would have us do. Our “neighbors” might get a stern look on their face or let out a sound of exasperation. But does it really matter what they think? Remember the words of Jesus in Matthew 22:37-38:

“You shall love the Lord your God with your whole heart, with your whole soul, and with all your mind, (and) you shall love your neighbor as yourself.” 

Consider your gay son who is living in a distant land, and there comes a day when you know it’s time for you to reconcile your rocky relationship. It could be your childhood friend who has asked you to come to her union ceremony with another woman. Remember these people know how much you love God, but do they know how much you love them?

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2 Responses to "…but what will the neighbors think?"

From your blog to my mother’s heart! There’s hope yet.

Beautifully stated!!! Thank you!!!

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