Jesus said in Matthew 22:39 You shall love your neighbor as yourself. In context, Jesus was referencing our responsibility to the world, not just those closest to us. Yet the commandment should especially impact those closest to us.
As followers of Jesus, we are called to serve our neighbors, so they will know the love of God. A recent article by Marshall Segal, “Next-Door Strangers” referenced the fact that 50% of Americans don’t know the name of their immediate neighbors, let alone any more details about their lives.
This raises an obvious question- how can we love our neighbors, serve them, and share the love of God with them? The following are some practical suggestions on getting to know your neighbors.
- Make a purposeful effort to learn the names of your immediate neighbors on all four sides of your home.
- Lend a helping hand as you are able. If your neighbor is out working on a project in the yard, offer to help with no agenda other than to be a blessing.
- Pray for your neighbors. If every Christian home was truly a house of prayer, it could make a difference. Don’t be afraid to let people know you are praying for their family and ask them if there are specific things you can pray for.
- Be friendly, and you may have the opportunity to become a friend to your neighbor. You might just end up being the one who receives the greatest blessing through it.
People tend to be more open to spiritual conversations around the holidays. Pray that God would give you opportunities to tell people about the greatest love of all.