God commands us to love one another.
- John 13:34-35 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
He even commands us to love our enemies.
- Matthew 5:43-44
“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you…”
How do we Love?
But how do we do that exactly? How do we love when we don’t feel loved and don’t feel like loving? I fall back on another equally powerful verse.
- Matthew 7:12 “So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you…”
Denying ourselves so we can love someone else is incredibly unnatural. But, loving one another is a command, not a request
Denying ourselves so we can love someone else is incredibly unnatural. But, loving one another is a command, not a request. And if we are going to be disciples of Jesus Christ, we must strive to obey His commands as if He really IS our Lord…not just our Savior.
So, I asked my 9 year old daughter Ashley to write a list of 21 ways to love your neighbor. It’s always fun to get inside the head of a child, and she LOVES making lists. She’s even started a “list club” for daddy’s blog. How cute, right? Anyway, here is her list.
“21 Ways to Love Your Neighbor” – a list by Ashley Lauren White
- Walk their dog when they are not home
- Give them hugs when I see them
- Give them refreshments
- Give a gift basket by the door for their B-day
- If someone is hurt, you can help them
- Give them your full attention if spoken to
- Let them borrow your stuff if they need to
- If they are carrying something heavy, help them
- If they’re sick, help around the house for them
- Help them by setting out the table if they are resting
- Keep their house clean if they’re on vacation
- If put in charge of their house, don’t forget to clean
- Say “please” and “thank you” if given something
- Give them chocolate and a get well soon card if sick
- Offer to babysit their child
- Give them a compliment
- Give them a warm welcome when they come home
- Wash dishes
- Water the plants
- Clean the pool
- Give them a massage
Numbers 2, 6, 13, and 17 are my favorites.
How do you Love your Neighbor?
Use the comments below to tell us your favorites, and add to Ashley’s list of ways to love your neighbor. Ask your kids for help if you struggle for some ideas.
TIHMENE MAITLAND AYEMELE says
I always see an image of Christ in every body. I always ask myself if I can do to Christ what I am doing to my neighbor. I will always greet, share and give a helping hand to my neighbor among other things.
HANUMANTH RAO NEMALI says
CONTINUE THE SAME FOREVER………..LET’S CELEBRATE EVERYDAY BY DILIGENTLY LOVING OUR NEIGHBOR AS OURSELVES.
alan leonard says
What a great list by a 9 year old. . . great kid there. Love your enemy. . . love your neighbor as yourself. . . love brothers and sisters as Jesus loves us. Such simple commands but how difficult to be that kind of person in Christ in genuine ways. Years ago used to be heavily involved in the missions part of the church we attended, meaning mainly foreign missions. . . bringing the gospel to the unreached around the world. I admired the testimony and sacrifice of so many men and women who gave their lives. . . and still do. However, realized that it is too easy to ‘love’ people who are far away, and my devotion to missions merely disguised the reality that I didn’t really love others that much at all. . . at least not enough to walk down my street and tell my neighbor about the life and hope found in Jesus. Replaced my devotion to missions with a devotion to evangelism, learned the EE program and every week a group of us went to doors with the gospel. But found that learning the Evangelism Explosion system of talking about the gospel, while giving a skill in presentation, largely left my heart untouched. Have found that to truly be that kind of person that Jesus calls for is only found in being alive in Christ in genuine ways. . . that Christ is present in living ways within. And that is only possible by denying myself, taking up my cross and following Him. I have so far to go, and I fail often, but I know that in Christ such genuineness is possible.
Wow! I’m really encouraged by the extent to which we Christians go to do the work of Christ. I am really finding it challenging and I need some advice. I have to stop doing those things that we were told by Jesus to do just because I know it is right or because I want to make heaven. Also I want to see with the eyes and in the manner that God sees everyone. I learnt that the only way to be in union with God is through love not just for God but also for your neighbour. However, this is very difficult. I want to look at my neighbor with pity and not with indifference at their lack of faith in God. I know that this is necessary to do all that God expects from me truly from my heart.
Hey Ugo, not sure what advice you’re looking for, sounds like you’re on the journey already. Only feedback is union means entering the reality of God in Christ, it will mean love but it is in Christ. We’re meant to find life in Him so in a living way our doing things in loving others proceeds from a place of rest. All the strain goes. But hit me up if ya need cause I don’t know if you’re looking for something else.
“I always see an image of Christ in everyone. I always ask myself if I can do to Christ what I am doing to my neighbor.” Thank you so much for this practical strategy. I love its lack of clutter and how it beelines right to the point. Bless you.