Love your neighbor.
These three words are a part of what Jesus calls the greatest commandments.
And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength.’ The second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ No other commandment is greater than these.”Mark 12:30-31 NLT
(Bolded words mine.)
I’ve learned in reading scripture, if Jesus says something is important or great, He means it. And if He says it, well, I want to do all I can to follow what He says.
Yet, loving your neighbor isn’t always so easy, is it?
We discussed this in this week’s episode of the Encouragement for Real Life Podcast, episode 33. We looked at why sometimes it’s not so easy and what we can do about it. I hope it encouraged you and inspired you to love others well. Even those who are difficult to love. You can find it here if you missed it.
All throughout this week I pondered ways I could love my neighbor better. And I’m not referring to those who live in the house next to us. No. Our neighbor is anyone with whom we can share the love of God. Our neighbor might be someone we don’t even know (like in the story of the Good Samaritan). Or a person across the globe. Or someone we don’t particularly care for. Our neighbor can be anyone, actually.
I came up with some ideas. Twenty five of them, in fact. And they are simple, uncomplicated, and don’t take a whole lot of effort to do.
25 Simple Ways to Love Your Neighbor
- Smile (with your eyes, too)
- Hold the door for someone.
- Wish another a good day or evening.
- Say thank you.
- Be kind.
- Offer a compliment.
- Help someone in need.
- Pray for a friend (or better yet, an enemy).
- Pay for the person behind you in the drive thru.
- Send an encouraging text.
- Take a treat to a friend.
- Let someone know you are thinking about him/her.
- Give to a worthy cause/mission.
- Ask “how can I help?” then follow through.
- Make someone else smile.
- Tell another why he or she is important to you.
- Treat someone the way you want to be treated.
- Look people in the eye.
- Remind someone of her worth.
- Believe the best in others.
- Deliver flowers.
- Call someone you haven’t talked to in a while.
- Do something kind for a co-worker.
- Send an uplifting card in the mail.
- Share with someone why you love Jesus.
The thing is, I could keep going. There are a zillion ways (okay, maybe not a zillion, but maybe??) to love your neighbor. Feel free to add to this list in the comments! In what way have you loved your neighbor recently?
Which one will you and I do today?
We don’t have to make it complicated or extraordinary. Sometimes the simplest gesture makes all the difference in someone’s life. May we be people to make that difference today.
Much love to you, friend!
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