Friday, December 21, 2012

Book review: The Art of Neighboring

The Art of Neighboring: Building Genuine Relationships Right Outside Your DoorThe Art of Neighboring: Building Genuine Relationships Right Outside Your Door by Jay Pathak

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Art of Neighboring is a Christian book.  That much is clear.  However, I was impressed with its lack of "get to know your neighbors so you can tell them about Jesus" approach in this book.  It's still mentioned, but author Jay Pathak discusses the difference between an ulterior motive and an ultimate motive and says our ultimate motive in all relationships is to share our faith. 

This is a great read for anyone who has neighbors.  (And that is the majority of us.)  Gone are the days of going next door to borrow a couple eggs, we usually just hop in the car and go to the store.  This book gives ideas on how to create community within your community.  He gives examples of how he's done it where he lives, such as an impromptu smores making and going door to door to invite the neighbors. 

Also, he discusses sticky situations and how to set boundaries in such instances.  He gives a detailed story of what happened to he and his wife with one neighbor.  After all, many times there will be someone who wants to take advantage of our kindness, and there are times we need to say no to others!

In the end what happens when we take care of those around us?  We can go looking right on our block for help, be it shoveling show, babysitting, or other things. We, in turn, can gift our neighbors with something we can do for them and relationships are strengthened and everyone benefits!

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