Sunday, August 28, 2022

My Neighborhood

By Al Behel


    I liked “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood.” Millions of children around the world sat at his feet and marveled at the simple things. Fred Rogers received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. When he received the award he wore his usual sweater and tie. Reporters expected him to talk about his infamous television program. Instead, he talked with them about why we are on this earth – not to amass fortunes or to make a big name for ourselves. According to Mister Rogers the important things are the little things, the small acts of kindness that make our world a better place.

    In the story of the Good Samaritan, Jesus taught that a real neighbor is not identified by credentials or religious ideologies, but by the simple acts one does toward those in need. According to Jesus, the world is our neighborhood and everyone in it is our neighbor. Our challenge is to do small acts of kindness to each person we meet. It’s the simple things that make the difference.

    How many times each day do we meet a “neighbor”, someone to whom we can show kindness? How many opportunities do we miss because we have other commitments, or because that neighbor is different from us and we are not moved to action? Scripture tells us that Jesus “went about doing good.” Every day He touched lives with simple acts of kindness. He spoke kind words to social and moral outcasts. He held children in his arms, went home with tax collectors and sinners, and encouraged the hearts of the down-trodden. He told the disciples that to see Him was to see God. And that’s how others see God in us.

    We are often stalled by our belief that God is looking for big things in us. Sure, there are big challenges we must meet, but most of life is not about big things. It’s the little things we routinely do to others that opens their hearts and shows the beauty of God’s grace in us.

- Al Behel served the Great Smoky Mountains Church of Christ in Pigeon Forge, TN, for many years prior to this death in April 2022. The congregation may be contacted through their website -

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