“If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.” – Romans 12:18
Sandra loved her home. It was exactly the type of house she’d dreamed of living in when she was a little girl. There was a beautiful flower bed in the front yard that bloomed year round with fragrant flowers. In the backyard was a tire swing and slide that her kids loved to play on.
The only downside to her home was her next door neighbor. The neighbor was an elderly woman who was known around the block for her sour demeanor. She constantly complained.
At first, she didn’t like where Sandra had placed her trash can. She complained the kids made too much noise when they played in the backyard. She fretted over the family dog, certain he was going to get out, even though the dog had never made an escape attempt.
After dealing with the older woman several times, Sandra resolved to be kind to her. “At first, I was really mad about her constant complaints. Then I realized she was probably just lonely and needed someone to care.”
Sandra started showing up at her neighbor’s house with cookies and home-cooked meals. She offered to clean the other woman’s gutters and fix her squeaky porch step.
Eventually, Sandra’s neighbor warmed up to her, and the two became friends. Sandra shares, “I’m thankful now that I didn’t respond unkindly to her complaints and sever any potential for a relationship. The whole neighborhood thinks about her differently now.”Prayer:
Lord, it’s not always easy to love the people around me. Sometimes, they make me mad, and I just want to get even. Help me to respond with kindness so I can shine Your love. In Jesus’ name, Amen.