Thinking about ways to love your neighbor this year? Consider a few of these ideas as you follow Jesus’ commandment to love your neighbor as yourself.
Look for and Meet Needs
When you feel most loved, why is that? It is probably because you feel safe and cared for. Sometimes it is because someone did something nice for you, but it is probably more likely that someone saw something deep within you and met that need.
Look around at the people in your community and even those next door to you. What might their needs be? While you don’t want to impose on people, consider how you might be most helpful to them.
- Going to local nursing homes and spending time with lonely residents.
- Are the kids in your area (or near you) on assisted lunch programs in school? Often families in these areas are food insecure. Find an appropriate way to donate and/or deliver food.
- Consider serving meals to the homeless and sit down to eat with them if you can.
- Help make cards or decorations for the local children’s hospital.
- Did your neighbor’s car just break down? Offer to carpool if possible.
Host Get Togethers
Often in communities, the hardest part about meeting new people is the actual act of getting together. If possible, consider fostering a community building activity or event that would allow people to interact with others. What greater way to love on people than to provide them with an opportunity to feel included in their local community.
Think about Who Is Your Neighbor
While it’s tempting to think so, your neighbors are not just the people in your local community. Your neighbor is anyone (and everyone) around you. That means people who are just like you and people who are nothing like you. People who live in your country and people who do not. “Good” people and “bad” people. People who you might even consider an enemy.
Ask God to open up your heart this year to your neighbors and find ways to love them–no matter where they live or who they are.