Won’t You Be My Neighbor?

Episode #15: (Post on Sunday) Won’t You Be My Neighbor? The LKN Faith Podcast

Est. Reading Time: 3 minutes

As a young child living outside Richmond, Virginia, I grew up watching the great Mr. Rogers. Of all of the things that I remember about his show, I especially remember the opening theme song, “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?”

Do you know this song? Before you continue reading, give a listen to the video below. This beautiful piano rendition of “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?” features Art Williams, a devoted student of Fred Rogers and head of the music department at Faulkner University in Alabama.

Art Williams – “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?”

Needless to say, Art Williams has an incredible talent. If you enjoyed this video, I included another one at the bottom of the article where Art manages to play on two pianos at the same time.

Besides the music, Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood made another significant impact on me. As a core aspect of the show, we were taught the importance of showing kindness to others. And isn’t that something that we desperately need in the world nowadays?

I often remark to my wife that it just feels like people have gotten so much more impatient and ruder over the years. Just looking at road rage statistics for the U.S. from past years, 8-in-10 drivers have experienced (and contributed to) some form of aggressive or even dangerous driving. Political and cultural divisions are so searing within the United States (and the world) that people no longer know how to even be decent to one another.

Today’s reality is such a sad contrast to “Please won’t you be my neighbor?” Isn’t it?

Kindness is a key attribute of the genuine Christian life. In fact, the Bible is chock-full of teachings and examples (even better than Fred Rogers) of showing kindness towards others.

Without digging in, due to a time constraint, the Parable of the Good Samaritan in Luke 10 immediately springs to mind.

Additionally, Galatians 5:22-23 lists kindness as a key quality or indicator of a righteous person:

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.

This fruit should not be reserved only for our family members and friends. Rather, loving-kindness is a strict commandment that Jesus wants all of his true followers to demonstrate, even towards their enemies.

27 “But I say to you who hear, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28 bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you. 29 To one who strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also, and from one who takes away your cloak do not withhold your tunic either. 30 Give to everyone who begs from you, and from one who takes away your goods do not demand them back. 31 And as you wish that others would do to you, do so to them.

32 “If you love those who love you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. 33 And if you do good to those who do good to you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. 34 And if you lend to those from whom you expect to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, to get back the same amount. 35 But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return, and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, for he is kind to the ungrateful and the evil. 36 Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful (Luke 6:27-36).

No one can practice such selfless loving-kindness perfectly, but this is such a worthy goal to aspire to. After all, what a beautiful contrast this attitude presents in such a bitter world. This can be a powerful tool for encouraging fellow Christians and in helping to steer others towards Christ.

Scripture speaks on the simple, yet profound, impact that kindness provides:

25 Anxiety weighs down the heart, but a kind word cheers it up (Proverbs 12:25).

Fred Rogers passed away two decades ago, and yet his example of kindness still has a reaching impact on the souls he touched.

Won’t you be someone’s neighbor today and show your kindness as well?

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