When witnessing results in loss of friendship

This is a common occurrence, I know. We have lived in our neighborhood for 15 years and are acquainted with most of the neighbors around us. Some are those who simply go to work, come home, and close their garage door behind them. It’s been difficult to talk to them.
We have a neighbor across the street from us, a couple about our age, with grown kids, like us. My husband has had numerous conversations with the husband over the years and we have at times helped each other with our yards, or equipment, or whatever as neighbors do. About a year ago my husband had a chance to witness, in depth, to this man. He was very interested. My husband went into depth about the second death in Revelation and he asked for a copy of every tract or paper we had. He asked us not to say anything to his wife. We prayed for him.
Then, suddenly, he stopped talking to us. He still waves when he drives down the road but stays away from the street when we are out and he avoids us. We are trying not to take it personally, because we understand that it is likely the Truth he is avoiding. But, we have also noticed that the rest of our neighbors seem to have distanced themselves from us as well. I know this couple talks. We have caught wind of some of the gossip they have circulated and understand that if we are hearing whacky things about other neighbors, then other neighbors have probably heard whacky things about us. It is sort of bothersome. We try to be good neighbors. We help when we can. We have a spare lot with coastal hay growing on it that we allow a neighbor to have for her horses if she is willing to cut it. Works out great and she appreciates it. We help another neighbor round up her cows when they get out. We took food to another neighbor when the wife was in a car accident. You know, just stuff you do for a neighbor. These are things we do to try to be a good testimony.
I am burdened about the situation, and asking the Lord to show is if there is something more we should do, or just keep asking God to work in their hearts.

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Just keep on being the beautiful servants of the Lord our God. As time passes, when crisis’ arise, you will be the first people contacted for…Prayer! Happens all the time. Many times, people pray for a “Damascus Road” experience, but I sort of like the “Fox Hole” - when the bullets are flying overheard, everyone wants to believe in God, or hopes their neighbor is still that “weird Church-guy”. Blessings to you and your family!

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Well put @redeemed1 and thank you for sharing this @NStallard / Naomi

It’s always deflating to experience rejection (even perceived) due to the name of the Lord (Matthew 10:33) yet it is to be expected and also mitigated with the truth of 1 John 3 -

3 Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God! Therefore the world does not know us, because it did not know Him.

In agreement with @IamBlessed / Beverley to keep serving the Lord in humility as you are, and give all to God in prayer - Philippians 4:6.

In Christ

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They hated our Lord, first

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Naomi, there’s a few things you can do here.

  • Have some ice cream
  • sit and watch a sunset or sunrise
  • hire a DJ every morning and have him blast worship music /twice on Sunday.
  • rent a huge projection screen and share JD on your lawn with surround sound
  • re enact the fall of Jericho around the neighborhood (only as last resort though)
  • Paint a mural on the side of your house facing the street
  • Draw caricatures of all your neighbors and publish a book of artworks titled “The More You See the Less it Makes Cents” sounds catchy, I’d read it as it sounds like it could even be economic advice :joy:
  • Have a grill out/smoke out in your front yard just for fun
  • do an interpretive dance routine of the life and times of Jeremiah.
  • write the lyrics to “There Ain’t No Grave” by Johnny Cash on the sidewalk with chalk
  • Chill and keep doing what you’re doing.

You could probably do combinations of those but the point being, the real point being, since the truth doesn’t need defending, and God has everything under control (this is easier for me to write than to do), keep doing what you’re doing by being the depiction of a follower of Christ as meant to depict to the world.

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WOW Sister, @NStallard - I loved what you have shared with us. You are an amazing, loving, caring and a compassionate neighbor to your neighbors. You sure are abiding in the word, “Love thy neighbor as thy self”. We need more of you here in Belgium.
Keep up the good work, you are amazing. May God bless you and your husband abundantly in all you do for the Lord Jesus Christ.
What matters, is that you plant seeds, our Heavenly Father takes care of the rest.
We lay up TREASURES in Heaven, not on earth.
God is all-knowing and all-seeing and He knows exactly what your neighbors are saying behind your back; the only thing we can do is to hand it ALL over to God because He takes care of us always.
Love you in the Lord Jesus Christ. :smiley: :crown:

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Thank you for your encouragement. I must add though, that when you live in the same neighborhood for a number of years, you step on each other’s toes from time to time and sometimes get a bit ruffled with each other. But we have always smoothed things over and moved on. I think we have learned the best thing to do is say as little as possible, and PRAY a lot. As we get older it becomes more sensible to do. but oh the times when we were younger and spouted off at any perceived injustice. God is very forgiving.

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This is frustrating I’m sure.
We live in a Mormon area. I had to go to our neighbors last summer and ask them to not leave their dogs outside at all hours barking. My husband and I get up by 4 am. These neighbors also let their dogs run loose and defecate in other’s yards. They also have left the dogs chained up in the rain and snow for hours.
The dogs charge at you as well which is scary.
They do not leave their dogs outside anymore but they do let them out late at night to do their business which again is in other neighbors yards including mine.
Ever since then they will not acknowledge us or wave etc.

Prior to all this I used to take them extra preschool items such as toys , art supplies etc and my husband would give them things too as they have 3 kids ( elementary to high school age).
At Christmas I felt the Lord prompt me to be Christ like and to try to mend the ill feelings they have. I wrote a note which thanked them for understanding about the noise and not continuing to leave the dogs outside barking.
I said I wanted to live in peace with them and wished them a Merry Christmas.
They continue to not acknowledge us and even give dirty looks. I find large piles of dog you know what all over my yard.
I’m at a loss as to the lack of respect for fellow neighbors and I’m saddened because I know as Mormons they’re not saved but also brought to my mind was to “ shake the feet off “ scripture about those that just will not be open hearted, receptive or at least willing to work together. ( I know the verse is about witnessing but it also seems applicable to this issue).

I pray for them but I no longer beat myself up or my head against a wall for their choice to act the way they do.

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That is a difficult situation. We have dealt with similar issues through the years. I have been focusing on, rather than letting my feelings run off with me, to be still and listen to what the Lord would have me do. He told me to not allow my anger and frustration to take hold in my life. I pray that God will take the ill feelings from me and that He will work in the situation to mend the broken bridge. Since these people aren’t believers, they don’t have the Holy Spirit guiding them, like we do, so I couldn’t expect them to respond as I am commanded to. But God can work. This is more about your response to the situation, rather than theirs. You have extended the olive branch. It is in their lap now. Continue to pray for them. And pray that God will keep your heart pure. This is a spiritual battle. I know. I am telling myself these things right now.
But, you know, you could even ask the Lord to have those dogs choose to do their business somewhere else. That the pooches will not have the urge to go while in your yard. :rofl: It’s possible, you know!

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I so appreciate your wise response.
The Lord has also brought to my mind about them being spiritually blind as they are not saved. That does help me calm down and reassess my attitude and response so that was a great point for you to mention. Thank you!!

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I catch myself getting in a tizzy saying, “Lord, those boys are riding their four wheelers around on my hay lot! Did you see that?!” (gasp gasp!) “I am going to o have a talk with their parents!” Then the Lord says, “No you won’t. You will stir up ill will and may not have a chance to witness to or minister to them. I will handle this, You just pray.”

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Love this ethos - something my mum embodied whilst she was here. James 1:19-20

In Christ

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I think that all you can do is pray for them, and continue to be salt and light as you have been in the neighborhood. I think this can be a process, and the enemy is surely getting involved to prevent conversions. You have been a shining light on a hill and it shows! Just keep it up and don’t get discouraged! Satan wants us to give up!

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You are very right! Some days it seems I feel like an old worn out dishrag left sitting damp in the sink. Stagnant, you know? Like nothing is happening. But in my heart I know it isn’t true. There is a lot happening and God is working.
Today, I must confess has been a somewhat difficult day. I made progress with some family members that we had rifted with, now it seems it was one step forward, and 2 steps back. Nothing actually happened that I am aware of, unless there is something at work in their lives on their end. I just need to keep leaning into the Lord and staying in His Word.

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I understand what you are saying.

I have lost so many people. Number one was my family, my relatives, my very close friends. One by one they disappeared in my life. But I thank God that my mom is still with me. Although talking about Jesus is not something we do as often as I wanted.

When I look back at my experiences, I thank God that He used me and He is using me and He will still use me. But the battle scar is still here, deep in my heart. I have hope that when we get raptured and we are in the Lord with our new bodies, this hurt, this battle scar will be forever gone.

I love my former friends. Can I be honest? I miss their friendships. But I know nothing will be the same again. They were the ones who told me to stop talking about Jesus and that the Roman Catholic church is the only true church. Oh, how it breaks my heart.

I hope this helps even a little bit…know that you are not alone.

Eyes on Jesus :eyes:

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Wow - what you have shared helps me so much because I have been going through the exact same thing! Many lost loved ones; I have come to the end of myself and all I have in JESUS! I know He is carrying all of us broken-hearted Christians right now.

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