Study Reveals How Scripture Inspires Us to be a Nation of Neighbors

Chapter 4 of the State of the Bible: USA 2022 report is now available for download

So how neighborly is our nation? A nationwide survey conducted by American Bible Society in January 2022 gives us insight into this very topic. In the fourth chapter of our 12th annual State of the Bible report entitled “A Nation of Neighbors,” we examine a wide range of attitudes and actions relating to our life together as a nation and we explore how faith informs our interactions with our neighbor.

And the results are in! The research shows clearly that Scripture Engaged people make better neighbors. People who are regularly reading the Bible engage in positive neighborly behaviors such as:

  • Welcoming immigrants into my community
  • Befriending people of other races
  • Befriending people of other religions
  • Caring for those who are in prison
  • Caring for the environment
  • Advocating for those who are oppressed by society
  • Being a good neighbor

The Kind of Neighbor the Bible Calls Us to Be

When asked to name the most important commandment in the Law of Moses, Jesus chose two: Love God completely and Love your neighbor as yourself (Matthew 22:37-40.) In his stories and teachings, Jesus defined and refined what it meant to be a neighbor.

In our contentious culture, many people long for a return to the kind of neighbor the Bible calls us to be. They hope for kindness and compassion to fill our communities, neighbor helping neighbor, caring for those in need, and giving of ourselves sacrificially. And we believe that daily engaging Scripture will help people return to this kind of neighborliness.

How You Can Pray

Your prayers can help make America a nation of neighbors. Not just a nation that says we love God and love others, but one that follows Jesus and engage with the Scriptures, putting his teachings into practice. Join us as we pray for the following:

  • Pray that as Americans actively live according to the Word of God they will exhibit kindness and neighborly qualities.
  • Pray that Scripture Engaged Americans will have greater impact in our nation by helping to shift the culture from one of divisiveness and hatred to one of compassion and love.
  • Pray that the result of this study will encourage churches and Christ-followers across America to turn to the truths found in God’s Word and allow it to shape and mold them into the likeness of Christ Jesus.

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Nena Podbury
Nena Podbury

Nena Podbury is a Prayer Mobilization Associate at American Bible Society. Originally from the Bronx, she served in children’s ministry for 12 years doing Sidewalk Sunday School. Nena is married with two children, Noah and Emilia.

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