Recently my church has been doing a lot of talk about house churches and Bible studies in your home, so when I saw Amy Lively’s How to Love Your Neighbor Without Being Weird, I thought that it might make a useful add to my book collection. After all, I don’t really know how to go and greet my neighbor or to befriend them without feeling incredibly awkward and weird.
Lively gives many reasons in the book why she feels that the Biblical call to love your neighbor includes your actual neighbors and not just those people people who support in missions or those people you interact with through school, work and your children’s activities. Her arguments are well reasoned, and many of them are great arguments. She also shares about her relationships with the neighbors in her life, and she gives beautiful examples of the friendships she’s formed as she’s opened her heart and her house to those around her.
I found Lively’s book to be delightful even though I will admit that I don’t feel her convictions and found myself arguing with her interpretation of scripture a few times. I loved some of the ideas she had for little gifts you can carry around to your neighbors (and may use some of them).
I really liked how she discussed entering through different doors of people’s lives than just religion. I agree that having neighbors you want to build relationships with is totally different from the classic door-to-door evangelism. Having said that, Jesus’s message is clear enough that I don’t think that it’s my job to befriend someone before I share gospel with them. Perhaps that’s the reason why it’s easier to go knocking on doors in different subdivisions than your own!
Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher.