The town council of Pilot Mountain recently voted to ban mobile homes within the town limits. Anyone currently living in a trailer will be permitted to stay, however if they should decide to replace their mobile with a new one they’ll have to move out of town. People in favor of the ban complain that the presence of mobile homes within town limits, particularly those that are not being properly maintained, is an eyesore. They add that these homes are bringing everyone else’s property values down. People opposed to the ban say that the people who live in these homes can’t afford anything else, and that the mobile home ban is just a thinly veiled plot to run lower income residents out of town.
While I think there are some valid arguments on both sides of this issue, one thing missing from the debate is an interest in “loving thy neighbor”. The trailer dwellers, who have not kept up their homes, are being unloving toward their neighbors by allowing their run-down properties to negatively affect the neighborhood. On the other hand, if the people in the stick-built homes were as committed to loving their neighbors as they were to petitioning town council, they could accomplish so much more. As my friend, Derek, pointed out, these folks could reach out to their neighbors by helping them fix their gutters, paint their homes or mow their lawns. They could do some landscaping and replace broken screens and missing underpinning. If the community could, somehow, come together in such a loving, helpful way, imagine the real impact they would have.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not trying to pick on the people of Pilot Mountain. A general lack of interest in loving our neighbors and caring for our communities is prevalent throughout the United States. We do a much better job of complaining about each other than we do of caring for one another. Perhaps that’s because complaining is so much easier. And, while griping may be the easiest way to deal with the people who bug us, it’s certainly not the Godly way. God calls us to be peacemakers. Let’s remember to live out the words in 2nd Timothy 2:24, which says, “The Lord’s bond-servant must not be quarrelsome, but be kind to all, able to teach, patient when wronged.”