Jesus puts loving God and your neighbor into perspective:
“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself” (Matthew 22:37-39).
The Word became flesh and blood, and moved into the neighborhood. (John 1:14)
God has placed you in your neighborhood for a reason, consider how you can show God’s love to your neighbors.
7 Simple Ways to Show Christ’s Love to Your Neighbors
- Greet people. Say hello as you walk along your block or work in your yard.
- Go out front. Be intentional about spending time in the more public parts of your yard or building. Rather than sitting on your back patio, put chairs in front of your house.
- Go first. Often people are just waiting for someone else to take the initiative. They may be open to connecting but just haven’t gotten around to starting the connection. Go first by introducing yourself, sharing information, and asking questions.
- Gather contact information. Collect names, phone numbers, and email addresses for those on your block or the floor of your apartment building. Express how you want to help people be connected to each other in times of need. Ask people their permission to share the list on the block.
- Give and receive. Be the neighbor who offers to give help to others, whether it’s loaning out a tool or a cup of sugar for a neighbor’s baking project. Also be willing to receive. Ask for help when you need it, as that can break down barriers.
- Get creative. Consider what makes your neighborhood unique and how you can love and serve your neighbors. Your own actions in your neighborhood may be different from what works in another setting.
- Go before God in prayer for your neighbors. Pray specific prayers when you know neighbors well enough to know their situations. Observe and pray for those you don’t know as well. For example, a house with toys scattered out front is home to a family—even if you don’t know them, pray for God’s grace on their family relationships.