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Won’t you be my Neighbor – Part 4

by | Oct 18, 2012 | News

No one likes to be scammed.  For someone to treat us one way for the sake of something else.  We learned that game in Middle School and don’t want to go back.  So, Christians, when we are called to love our neighbors, it’s not for a bait and switch.  The goal is not to love them until you share the gospel and then reject them if they don’t believe right away.  Yet, many times that’s what happens.

One of my favorite parts of the book was the way they distinguished between ulterior motives and ultimate motives in loving our neighbors.  An ulterior motive would be loving someone to get them to do something.  An ultimate motive would be your hopes and goals for everyone.  They write…

We want to be clear about something when it comes to the art of neighboring. This is not an evangelism strategy. And if evangelism is your only motive, then you won’t be a very good neighbor. However, if neighboring is done with the right posture, then people who don’t know God will most certainly come to know him.  There’s a big difference. The “agenda” we need to drop is the well-meaning tendency to be friends with people for the sole purpose of converting them to our faith. Many so desperately want to move people forward spiritually that they push them according to their timetable, not according to how God is working in them. It’s tempting to offer friendship with strings attached.
To be clear, they are not suggesting that we stop sharing the gospel, praying, etc.  They are merely suggesting that we love others the way we want to be loved…freely.  And that when that happens, some will love Jesus because of that.

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