So this past Sunday, I preached a sermon entitled “I Love NY” and one of the main points was to “Do Good Where You Are”. It was a fun sermon to think about and prepare for, and I’ve been thinking about simple ways to love our city (or seek the “shalom” of the city).
Sidenote: The Mets hat was borrowed from Frank Favilla, and the Yankees hat was borrowed from Mike Favilla, a fact in itself which can warrant a sermon on “household harmony despite differences”.
Anyhow, you can watch the sermon here:
Here’s a brief list of some simple things you can do to seek the shalom (wholeness, flourishing) of the city. What would you add?
*Btw, I’d love to think of lists of “do good where you are” for different professions like finance folks, lawyers, social workers, etc. Better yet, you can make a list for yourself!
1. Pray – Pray for your family, your friends, your neighbors, the government, your workplace, the economy, arts & recreation, commerce, etc. Pray for how God might use you today to do good in our world.
2. Keep a Sabbath – I know this might seem counterintuitive, but the more you’re at shalom, the more shalom you can give away! Sabbath-keeping is just one way to do this. Remember to love your neighbor as yourself, not at the expense of yourself.
3. Smile and Say Hello – I know this is pretty straightforward, but I do want to mention that this might be a different experience for men and for women in the city. It really stinks that this world can often feel like an unsafe place (esp for women when it comes to encounters with strangers), and I do believe this action (along with the rest listed here) should be accompanied by wisdom.
With that said, please smile and say hello. : )
4. Ask Questions and Listen – This one applies to spouses, parents, children, students, employees, employers, etc, (in other words, it applies to everyone!)
“Being listened to is so close to being loved that most people cannot tell the difference”. – David Augsberger
5. Say Thank You – Better yet, say thank you when it’s expected AND say thank you when people don’t expect it. Here are some tag lines you could use:
“I appreciate when you…”
“I’m thankful for you because…”
This is a great way to create community in your home, neighborhood, and yes, even your workplace or school! Rich gave a great sermon on this here.
6. Give – I think it’s important to give monetarily, but also with one’s time and energy. Maybe it’s volunteering somewhere for 1-2 hours/week. Maybe it’s starting to give a percentage of your income away, or if you already give a percentage or tithe (10%), maybe it’s increasing your giving by 1% (so from 2 to 3% OR 10% to 11%) and making the necessary adjustments to your lifestyle.
What would you add to this list?