The place my light is most likely to dim is with people who I see on a regular basis – my friends, family and neighbors. So what does scripture have to say about neighbors?
The first parable that pops into my head is the story of the Good Samaritan. But what about the people who live right next door to me? What if I don’t like them?
Be careful to live properly among your unbelieving neighbors. Then even if they accuse you of doing wrong, they will see your honorable behavior, and they will give honor to God when he judges the world.1 Peter 2:12
It’s important to be careful how we live, especially if our neighbors do not know Jesus. It isn’t difficult to imagine that neighbors ruffle feathers and consequently, accuse you of wrong behavior. But if we are careful to live honorably, in the end it will all work itself out.
I like what Peter adds a couple chapters later…
If you are insulted because you bear the name of Christ, you will be blessed, for the glorious Spirit of God rests upon you. If you suffer, however, it must not be for murder, stealing, making trouble, or prying into other people’s affairs. But it is no shame to suffer for being a Christian. Praise God for the privilege of being called by his name! …So if you are suffering in a manner that pleases God, keep on doing what is right, and trust your lives to the God who created you, for he will never fail you.1 Peter 4:15-16, 19
There is no honor in suffering because you are a busy body or for making trouble. But if you are suffering in a manner that pleases God, he is going to take care of it. And that’s a promise!