Why I Refused to Love My Neighbor {Give Away Day}

Why I Refused to Love My Neighbor


“When our daughter outgrew her swing set, we sold it to an acquaintance who struggled to find a truck and some buddies to help haul it away. We weren’t home when his plan came together, so we told him to go ahead and get started. They removed the swings and were dismantling the slide when a woman came out of the house and asked why they stealing her swing set in broad daylight. They were at my neighbor’s house!” – Amy Lively


What a crazy situation! Today, I have as my guest Amy Lively. Have you ever thought, “I want to love my neighbor, but I don’t know how”? Amy’s new book How to Love Your Neighbor Without Being Weird is packed with practical, adaptable tips and tools for introverts or extroverts, and people who live in big cities or small villages. If you want to get rid of the guilt about disobeying Christ’s #2 command to love our neighbor but don’t want to alienate or offend your neighbors in the process, this book is for you.


More from Amy:

“It’s a nightmare having a pizza delivered in my neighborhood. With its poorly marked winding streets all named after trees, the poor driver can never find our house—seriously, I use the strobe light app on my smart phone to signal them from the driveway or else they circle aimlessly while my dinner grows cold. There are people who have lived in our neighborhood for over 35 years who still don’t know the street names!


I got lost in my neighborhood, too.


I wandered aimlessly through my neighborhood, not paying attention to the people living around me. I refused to look up from my busy life and notice what was happening all around me. So when God reminded me of His #2 command to love my neighbor as myself, I was a little surprised. Then I was excited! But then I got scared. And finally, I told God why this was a just a terrible idea.

I patiently explained to the Lord that I was too busy to invest in my neighbor’s lives. I was caring for my husband and our daughter, working from home, volunteering at church and school, going to ministry school—these are all good and necessary things, right?

You know what else? I’m not spiritual enough. I don’t know the answers to life’s toughest questions. I’m a work in progress, an imperfect and implausible witness. Perfect excuse, right?

Besides, my house isn’t ready. I can’t plan Pinterest-worthy parties. You told Martha to back off, didn’t You? You want me to be tied up in religious business like her sister, Mary, right?

It’s risky. You never know who’s lurking behind those blinds. My neighbors don’t seem friendly. I could get hurt.

I had every excuse in the book, and most of them were valid.

I am busy, I am broken, my house is dusty, people are unpredictable. Trouble was, I couldn’t find an exception clause in the second-greatest commandment (trust me, I looked hard)—

“You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.” This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Matthew 22:37–39

I had every excuse in the book for not loving my neighbor, and a few I’m sure God had never heard before—but I couldn’t find an asterisk or exemption to get me off the hook. After months of arguing with God, I finally knocked on my neighbors’ doors and invited them for coffee at my kitchen table.

At first, it felt awkward. It wasn’t always easy. But now? Since I’ve met Juanita and Linda, Mary Ann and Mary Sharon, Bonnie and Lauren? And my neighbors sat together in my living room last night and talked and laughed and cried and prayed?

Oh, yeah—the reward was worth the risk.


Today, Amy is giving away a How to LOVE Your Neighbor Without Being Weird prize pack!  One winner will receive:

  • 2 custom “Love Your Neighbor” mugs, one for you and one for a neighbor
  • 2 coasters for your steaming mugs
  • 2 single-serve Columbian coffees
  • 10 invitations to invite a neighbor (or the entire block!) into your home for coffee, board games, BBQ – whatever works for you!
  • A signed copy of How to Love Your Neighbor Without Being Weird


If you just can’t wait to find whether or not you’ve won, Amy is giving away prizes to everyone who purchases her book!  Just click here to get your’s!


I will announce the winner of the How to LOVE Your Neighbor Without Being Weird prize pack on my Wednesday Wisdom Tip Wednesday, June 3rd.



  1. DeAnn Marlow says:

    Oh, how I’ve tried to use all these excuses and more! Cannot wait to read this book.

    1. I love to eradicate excuses… although another one just pops up in it’s place if I’m not careful!

  2. I would love to win this book! How do I enter the giveaway?

  3. Would love to have the gift set! We own a townhouse but the other 5 units are rentals which means the area is a revolving door. It’s been a challenge to get acquainted but we keep trying. God is opening doors but this would be a HUGE encouragement to my heart on more ways to love ’em! Thanks so much for this opportunity!

    1. That IS a challenge! You will have plenty of opportunities to be kind to people as they move in and out. Chance encounters can have lasting impact!

  4. Boy do I use the same excuses. Time to step up to the plate! Would love to win this book.

    1. Every time I admit my excuse and act in obedience, God blesses me in that very area. If you’re strapped for time, it doesn’t make sense to invest more time in loving others. But that’s exactly what we need to do! Only then was He free to take control of my schedule and multiply the minutes in my day. It’s the exact same principle as tithing.

  5. God has been opening doors and hearts in this area of my life.

    1. He goes before us and behind us! Praying these doors stay open and you have the courage to walk through them.

  6. I would love to win this prize pack.

  7. I have used every excuse there is to NOT talk to my neighbors. I really want to reach out and I hope this book will help me find the courage to finally do it. Thank you for your inspiration.

    1. Maybe you could talk to them this weekend? Just a little “hello” to break the ice?? I’m praying for you!

  8. I would love to win this!

    1. Good luck! Start thinking NOW of who you would invite for coffee (and invite them anyway if you don’t win).

  9. Thank you for the great giveaway! Enjoyed reading this post!! 🙂

    1. Hope the words linger and make their way into your neighborhood, April!

  10. Lydia Hostetler says:

    I would love to win this. I could use a little help. I would love to invite people in but am a bit scared to because my house is always in a mess, because we live in it.

    1. Lived in is lovely! I bet your neighbors live in their houses, too – and they would understand why it’s not Pinterest-perfect. You can impress them with hospitality, not your house.

  11. My former neighborhood in another country, was great. Yes, there were yenta’s but there were also very kind hearted people willing to help out when they could. When my husband died it was incredible how they were all in the know of bypassing a no work law on a holiday, to finding food to feed those that came to show their respect. My neighborhood today is younger, most of them but oh so friendly and helpful. Loving your neighbors is a gift, it is also a joy. Pass the blessings on . . .

    1. We all need neighbors nearby to help in times of crisis – and to enjoy everyday blessings! I pray you have the same kind of relationships where you are living now, Dot.

  12. Donna Spitzer says:

    I have truly tried to “love” all my neighbors since moving into this house Oct. 31, 1980…Ten children, 15 foster children & babysitting most of the kids now grown up, This neighborhood has changed in the last 10 yrs to being very anti Christian, anti social with families other than Hispanic families & it breaks my heart that my last 2 teens living here have no close friends & have suffered through their Dad passing away last month & no one from his years of service to the community through sunday school. youth group, scouts, little league or other groups even took notice. I have to pick up the pieces of broken hearts & help them move on….I loved our old neighborhood, close knit families, knowing everyone…now all so distant….sad truly sad

    1. Oh, Donna – I’m so sorry for all the sadness in your home right now. I am praying for a slow but steady return to the safety and security you once knew. May your neighbors return the love you’ve shown them when you need it most. God bless.

  13. We have neighbors that I need to interact with but seem to be ignoring my friendly gestures. Maybe there’s some help in your book to help me love my neighbor with God’s love. I do have acquaintance with several other neighbors who are open and friendly. A copy of this book will help me to find ideas to cement friendships with them.

    1. You’ll find tons of tips, they are practical and adaptable for your personality and your neighborhood’s needs – let me know which one works best for you!

  14. Would love to have this book for ideas on how to effectively reach others for Christ.

  15. Jody Baker says:

    My girls are constantly trying to get me to be more social…I am going to try this summer…maybe:)

    1. Summer is a great season to be more social (so are spring, fall & winter – but summer is especially cooperative!). With your girls, I pray you set an example of Christ’s #2 command in your neighborhood.

  16. I am trying to love my new neighbors. Just moved into a condo after being on a dead end street with hardly any neighbors for over 16 years. It has been an adjustment.

    1. I bet! New noises, new neighbors – and new friends to be made. I pray you meet them soon as you take the first steps into their lives!

  17. Jasmine Smith says:

    I could definitely use some help in this area!

    1. I think we all relate to that! It’s hard – but oh so rewarding! Check out my website and Facebook for lots of great tips 🙂

  18. My family moved around too much to get to know neighbors when I was growing up, so I definitely could use some help in this area. I will give it a try this weekend, and hopefully won’t be too weird & awkward about it lol!

    1. Well, how’s it going? At first, approaching new people does feel weird – but once you’ve made that initial connection, you’ve laid the foundation for a friendship to possibly grow!

  19. I would love to win this pack! I struggle to know what to do in this

    1. Me, too! The struggle drives us straight to God, who loves to answer our prayers for our neighbors. Good luck!

  20. Laura Carter says:

    I’ve lived in my house over 5 years and don’t know any of my neighbors. I’ve only met 2. I really need this book because I have all the same excuses above. I really look forward to reading it.

    1. I was here for 7 years before I knocked on my neighbor’s doors! Here’s what I said: “I’ve lived here for many years yet I don’t know my neighbors. I’m trying to change that, so i just stopped by to introduce myself.” Most neighbors will admit the same thing!

      1. Laura Carter says:

        Thanks for the advice. I felt it was too late. One reason I haven’t met a lot of people is because I have migraines and sometimes they come a lot, like 2x a week up to 100 hours and other times I was having 15 migraine days a month. I tend to stay inside a lot because of that.

  21. Abby Breuklander says:

    What an awesome idea! I’d love to get to know my neighbors better!!

    1. Glad you like it! It takes prayers and guts, but you CAN get to know your neighbors!

  22. having moved a lot in the past few years, it is so hard to build relationships, this subject definitely hits home, living in a townhome in an apartment complex 🙂 I really need to grow!!!!

    1. Lynn Cowell says:

      Jenifer, that is a hard environment! I hope He can help you to meet some great friends in your current home!

    2. Are there any built-in areas for connection, like a pool, community center or regular meetings? Ask the manager how you can get involved! Prayers for your neighbors 🙂

  23. Oh how I need this!! I have two neighbors who are quite, well, extremely hard to love. I’ve been thinking and praying about this situation for awhile now! I’m still at a loss. Hoping this book will help me out along with additional prayers!

    1. Lynn Cowell says:

      I love your heart to want to love your neighbors, Ginny!

    2. God has placed you near these difficult people for His purposes, and I pray He reveals your role soon! May you be a peacemaker and shining light.

  24. Love the swing set story! Thanks for such a great give-away. I’m ashamed to admit it, but I don’t really know my neighbors well. When my children were younger, it seemed to get us outside more often and I felt like I did know them. Now that they are grown, I’m not outside much so miss the opportunity to interact. There is a new family across the street (new as in moved in two years ago), and I have yet to introduce myself. Part of that is extreme shyness, but I do want to know my neighbors. Your book is just what I need. Time to end the excuses and get out there but in the right way.

    1. Prayers for your “new” neighbors! Get to know their needs and care about what’s important to them, and soon your Savior’s grace will overflow!

  25. Amy Rardon says:

    This has been my mantra for the last few months, to love my neighbor as myself. I’ve been making the effort to get to know my neighbors since I live on a dead end street and it’s making a difference already. Now that I know most of my neighbors this would be an excellent opportunity to introduce them to each other! What an exciting prospect. It’s always harder to turn down an official written invitation. Thank you so much for this opportunity.

    1. You can be the networker! Love your heart to build community on your street <3

  26. i would love to win that book too, maybe it will help me with ideas

  27. This is one book I def. need to add to my list~ I have some resentments from the past that are keeping me from opening up and getting to know people better.

    1. I pray that your heart will feel safe to love others and allow yourself to be loved. May your pain become a catalyst in your ministry, not a stumbling block. Keep care, Becky.

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