Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Be Gracious To Your Neighbors

My neighbor demolished my mailbox. 

The post ended up 30 feet away from the hole that it was formerly in. 

It was actually the neighbor’s wife (who is also the neighbor of course) that hit the mailbox.  He was nice enough to leave the mailbox itself by the front door with a note and a phone number to call him, so I’m thankful for that. 

Before I was able to talk to him on the phone, I ran through all of the scenarios of how the phone call was going to play out.  I just knew he was going to somehow blame me for his wife hitting the mailbox and I was going to have to not only buy a new mailbox, but fix his car, too. 

But when I called him, he was already on his way home after picking up a new mailbox for me and wanted to drop it off. 

I was so consumed with being pessimistic about the whole thing that I almost missed the opportunity to show him grace.  It wasn't until I talked to Chantel that I was reminded of how important it is to extend grace to our neighbors, both literal and figurative.

I showed him grace for 4 reasons, really:
  1. I want to be shown grace.  It goes back to treating others how you want to be treated; and no one wants to be treated like crap by a jerk.
  2. It’s already embarrassing enough, no need to make it worse.  Knowing why she hit the mailbox, I didn't need to make matters worse by giving them a hard time about it.
  3. I don’t really care about the mailbox.  Our mailbox is across the street from the house in a field and was falling apart.  I’m actually thankful that she hit it; now I don’t have to buy a replacement.
  4. He knows where I live.  There are two groups of people that I’m always nice to; people that handle my food and people that know where I live.  Angry people that know where I live can burn my house down.  Angry people that handle my food…well, you've seen enough news stories about that.
In the end, everything worked out fine; his car is fine, his wife is fine, my new mailbox is installed, and we are still neighborly.  

I imagine things wouldn't have ended so well if I had decided to be a jerk instead of being gracious.


  1. We all need to practice not being a jerk, great positive attitude!

    1. Thanks! My initial reaction to most situations it typically negative, so I have to constantly remind myself to be positive.