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Apr 20

What’s a Neighbor to Do?

Posted on Friday, April 20, 2012 in Uncategorized

Welcome today to our friends from Chris Spradlin’s insightful and practical EpicParent.

Chris was gracious enough to allow me to guest post on EpicParent today.  You can read “You’re Not Alone!!” here.

Let me catch you all up.

This week we took a look at fifteen year old Desean’s choice to come home drunk.

We took a look at his scenario from three perspectives:

What’s A Mom To Do?

What’s A Dad To Do?

What’s a Best Friend to Do?

Today we’ll consider what a neighbor should and should not do.

My Neighbor Desean

Desean is a neighbor. He’s a good kid who loves his friends. It’s not that he dislikes his family, he just loves to get out of his noisy, cramped apartment to have fun.

One night, a Wednesday night, I got a call from his eleven year old sister: “Is D there? He’s not home yet.  I’m kinda worried. He’s gonna be in trouble when Mom gets home!” Then she hung up.

Desean comes over sometimes, but not tonight.

I wasn’t worried. In fact, I hadn’t even remembered that she called until I heard the apartment hall door slam open.

Desean was laughing. It wasn’t normal laughing. It was drunk or high laughing.

Off the wall bounced Desean as he staggered into his mom’s apartment. Then the yelling began!

What’s a Neighbor to Do?

The first thing some people think of is to tell others. It’s news to repeat with friends, at work and at church. It might seem funny. Maybe it’s drama and some folks love to be part of the drama. But, remember gossip destroys friendships.

“A useless person causes trouble, and a gossip ruins friendships.” 1

“You will keep your friends if you forgive them,
but you will lose your friends if you keep talking about what they did wrong.” 2

A few months back I wrote about how gossip rips apart families, friends and churches all the time: Gossip Destroys Friendships. I believe “Gossip-free living is the right way to live!”

Rather than embrace gossip, drama and the destruction that results, I believe kindness is key and it’s best expressed with love.

Kindness Is Best Expressed With Love

Tim Geoffrion wrote an insightful post for The Spirit-Led Leader entitled “When Loving Gets Tough.”

“When conflicts arise or we have been hurt, or when others really irritate or offend us, it can be really tough to love them…For any number of reasons, our intention or attempts to love others can fall short.”

Sometimes love can be so hard. Here are several strategies that you and I can choose to practice that might make a real kind and loving difference:

1. Accept responsibility for your thoughts and actions.
2. Accept that you’re powerlessness to change people.
3. Let go of your demands.
4. If you cannot love the person unconditionally, be honest about it.
5. Look in the mirror.  Remember who you’ve been and who you really are.
6. Admit that love is work.


1 – Proverbs 16:28, NCV

2 – Proverbs 17:9, CEV

Bring on the comments

  1. your post made me laugh. I used to live on base in Beaufort, SC. The base was for all those who were stitoaned at the air stitoan, the naval hospital or MCRD so it was a nice mix of people.I once had a friend call me to drive to her house on the other side of base, because the MP’s had her street blocked off. I managed to make nice to the MP and got past the road block to her house. Got there, and we stood in the yard for 30 minutes talking to neighbors until we found out that the wife beat her Marine husband with a golf club because he went golfing instead of shopping with her (it pays to know MP’s). We didn’t gossip much – but living that close together sometimes you cannot help it!

  2. Thanks, and your comment made me laugh a little too as I read “living that close together sometimes you cannot help it!” =D

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