How to Love Your Neighbor

With February comes Valentine’s Day, and it comes with the word Love.   Let’s talk about loving our neighbor and what that means.  How do you love your neighbor?  How to love your neighbor.

Let’s be Real. Love can be hard sometimes, and it doesn’t always come naturally. Love is effort, love is being a servant, “love is patient, love is Kind, Love does not envy, it does not boast it is not proud.”  You may have got where I was going with these words coming from 1 Corinthians 13.4

How to love your neighbor.

We work hard at loving our family, spouses, kids, and friends, yet we need to love our neighbor.  

Who is my Neighbor?   

That is answered for you by Jesus himself.   Jesus explained this to a lawyer through the parable of the good Samaritan.  You can read this in Luke 10:25-37.   To paraphrase- he said, it is the person who showed mercy to the man who was beaten and robbed.  “Go and do the same.” 

Our Neighbor is…

Someone who needs help regardless of who they are in status, race, or faith.   We don’t just help the people we know or the people we are comfortable with, we help those in need.  We welcome all in love.

What kind of need?

They may be lonely, hungry, need to talk, have been injured, need you to take their garbage to the street, or help them carry something to their car, or you may need to give them a ride. You may be the first person someone from a foreign country talks to.    There are so many ways we can be a good neighbor.  

I for one try to do my best.   But I get in the way of my desire to be a good neighbor.   I may be more focused on myself or my family or other things, and I don’t see the needs of others around me.  This is what happened to the Levite and the pharisee who missed the opportunity in scripture to be the good Samaritan.

Sometimes we see, but we don’t want to do it.   Like a teenager not wanting to clean their room.   Ouch – it is true for all of us.

How to love your neighbor

Tips to Love Your Neighbor

Here are some tips to help us love our neighbor and see the needs around us. These neighbors may even be your coworkers or someone you share a ride with or see each day.

  1. Stop and notice people, say hello, smile, and start up conversations.
  2.  Look into the hearts of people and let them know they matter.  This may mean talking to your neighbor if it’s someone who lives near you.  Get to know them.  Ask Questions.
  3. All people were created by God just like you- look at them with empathy as God would.
  4. Meet them where they are.  If you only talk to them outside- take more time when you are outside to talk to them.  We always talk to our neighbors on our walks.  It may take us 15 minutes longer but it’s worth it.  If they are new to the neighborhood- bring them something to welcome them.
  5. Love them as they are- not as how you wish they would be.   They are not you and won’t act like you so appreciate their strengths.
  6. Jesus welcomes us as we are- so welcome them into your life even in their mess.
  7. Encourage your neighbor with love and good deeds.    From Hebrews 10:24.   
  8. Being a good neighbor may cost you time, work, and or money, but it’s worth it. 
How to love your neighbor

Practical ways to be a good neighbor

  1.  Help with outside work or yard work. Help each other out. 
  2. Invite them over for a meal or snack or a cold drink.
  3. Sometimes it happens organically.  If I hadn’t given my neighbor my phone number and chatted with her, she wouldn’t have called me to ask for a ride one day.  
  4. Visit with your neighbor- she may be lonely and need someone to chat with.
  5. Plan fun things together, neighborhood parties, celebrate birthdays, etc.  See my blog on how to meet your neighbor.
  6. Pray for them and any of their needs.  
  7. Invite them to church if they don’t go to church.  
  8. Be kind to them.  Wave and say hello.  Be courteous. 
  9. Share your stuff with them.  Offer for them to use the ladder, etc.  
  10. Bring them food.   I share my garden goods with my neighbors and bake them bread.

With that- do you have any great ideas you want to share?   Comment your ideas.

Do something fun for your neighbors this Valentine’s Day or even May Day.  It’s easier when your kids are younger to do this, but we still need to make the effort as we get older. 

How to love your neighbor. Get out there and do it!

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How to love your neighbor