“Let your foot rarely be in your neighbor’s house, or he will become weary of you and hate you.”
Every time I read this verse, at least 50 times in the last 4 years, I have one of two reactions. I think “Is there anyone who I have been a nuisance to?” If I see that tendency emerging, I nip it in the bud. More often I chuckle and occasionally laugh out loud as I picture Pete. A friend who use to be in my house so often I wondered if he had a key or maybe his own room. Pete was a single guy who didn’t have a life apart from my wife and me. We loved him like family. Almost. We did look for ways and places to avoid him after a while, but more importantly I realized we were a hideout for him. He could escape looking for other friends and avoid growing spiritually. You see, Pete was always finding his needs met in our relationship. Physically we fed him, played tennis, and hung out. Spiritually, he always piggy backed our spiritual life. Church, small group, and even the things God was doing in and through our lives. Pete vicariously allowed them to be his own spiritual journey. It wasn’t until we moved 12 hours away that he spread his wings and began to flourish. Today, identify who or what you are allowing to be a substitute for your personal journey and intentionally create some space.