One of the reasons we hesitate to meet our neighbors is the big unknown. What are they like? Will they like me? Will they be friends or foes?

Your neighbors’ homes are about the same size, value and style as yours—but the conversations inside those homes may be very different than the ones happening around your kitchen table.

Neighbors by the Numbers 1

Most of your neighbors agree that it’s morally unacceptable to have an extramarital affair (92 percent), practice polygamy (90 percent), or clone a human being (88 percent). Most of them are OK with divorce (69 percent), the death penalty (65 percent), gambling (61 percent) and stem cell research (59 percent). The issues most likely to cause a neighborly debate are doctor assisted suicide (46 percent for, 46 percent against) and homosexual relationships (52 percent for, 43 percent against)[1].

Here’s the good news: There’s plenty to talk about besides hot button topics.

Talk about the weather. Talk about the new baby in 3B. Talk about your favorite recipe. Talk about a new movie. Talk about an old landmark. If you’ve covered your conversation in prayer, you might even have the opportunity to talk about something amazing the Lord has done in your home lately.

“The Lord and King has taught me what to say. He has taught me how to help those who are tired.” Isaiah 50:4a NIrV

Talk about God’s provision at the last possible moment. Talk about a temptation the Holy Spirit helped you overcame. Talk about grace given so you could forgive the unforgivable. Talk about Christ’s love that helps you embrace the less-than-lovely.

You might be surprised to know that:

  • 33 percent of your neighbors use a Bible app; 33 percent read the Bible once a week or more
  • 88 percent of your neighbors own a printed Bible; the average home has 4.7 Bibles
  • 56 percent of your neighbors believe the Bible is the actual or inspired Word of God with no errors[2]
  • 10 percent of your Millennial neighbors aged 30 and younger value going to church… but on the other hand, 35 percent of them are actively opposed to church
  • 40 percent of your Baby Boomer neighbors believe church attendance is “very important”[3]

Your neighbors might have vastly different political and social worldviews than you. They may vote for different candidates and sign different petitions. But they all want to be noticed. They all want to be respected. They all respond to kindness, consideration and thoughtfulness. They all get weary or worried at times, and they could all use an encouraging word or a simple smile.

[Tweet “What do you have in common with your neighbor? Knock on the door and find out!”]


This post was originally published at Not Quite Amish Living, a blog for women who want more peace in our lives, our homes, our families and our hearts.


 

[1] Saad, L. (2014, May 26). Four Moral Issues Sharply Divide Americans. Retrieved June 3, 2014, from Gallup: http://www.gallup.com/poll/137357/four-moral-issues-sharply-divide-americans.aspx
[2] Barna Group. (2014, April 8). The State of the Bible: 6 Trends for 2014. Retrieved April 27, 2014, from Barna Group: https://www.barna.org/barna-update/culture/664-the-state-of-the-bible-6-trends-for-2014#.U12wa1cVCRp
[3] Barna Group. (2014, March 25). Americans Divided on the Importance of Church. Retrieved April 27, 2014, from Barna Group: https://www.barna.org/barna-update/culture/661-americans-divided-on-the-importance-of-church#.U12nl1cVCRp

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