A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood
My wife and I have lived in our new neighborhood for one year. It’s a different city than I grew up in, but it’s not far from there. One of the things I’ve learned, though, is that each neighborhood has different rules. I learned that I have to pay extra fees for the public park and public pool that I never use. I learned that I can’t park any RV or trailer on the street (I don’t have an RV or trailer, but if I did, I can’t park it on my street!). On my new street, the trash needs to be at the curb by Tuesday at 7:30, otherwise the garbage trucks will pass my house. This is something I’m constantly forgetting. I’ve learned to be very quiet when I come home after dark, otherwise the neighbors little dog will hear me and start yipping and barking all night (seriously, all night). I’ve learned not to try to take a certain, direct route to work between 7:30 a.m. and 7:50 a.m. because the road is clogged with high school drivers trying to get to school. This new neighborhood has certain rules that I need to live by. I’m sure that your neighborhood has certain rules that you follow. Where we live impacts our schedule, routines, and habits.
One of the interesting things about becoming a Christian is that God makes us part of a different neighborhood than the one we grew up in.
Colossians 1:13-14 reads, “[God] has rescued us from the kingdom of darkness and transferred us into the Kingdom of his dear Son, who purchased our freedom and forgave our sins.” Romans 14:17 tells us the rules in this neighborhood: “The Kingdom of God is… living a life of goodness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.”
As part of this new neighborhood, we have some new rules to follow. God tells us that in His neighborhood, we should live a life of goodness. We should live kindly. We should be honest, hard working, and friendly. We should live peacefully. We should get along with our neighbors. We should be helpful to them. We should also be joyful. We should be excited about living in this new neighborhood that God put us in!
Living by God’s right standards, living to be a peacemaker, and living to be a source of joy in our relationships are what God’s neighborhood is all about. And, when we live like this, our lives please God and bless others (v.18). Sounds like a nice neighborhood!
Posted on Tue, January 24, 2012
by Steven Valadez