Have you noticed how few people know their neighbors these days? It might seem convenient to not be overly involved with other people around you, but Jesus calls us to a deeper relationship. “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind,’ and ‘your neighbor as yourself’” (Luke 10:27). Love your neighbor as yourself. We were home free—almost—until that last little phrase.
Some women worry that they lack the education, ability, or time to minister to others. Let’s not be one of these women—we’ll miss out on some wonderful opportunities God has for us today.
Remember, we can serve others right where we are.
Practical Ways to Love
Prayer is how such a heart and such a love are cultivated. Pick one day each week to pray for your neighbors. Over time, you’ll discover that these people have a sincere place in your heart and in your life. When you wave to them in passing, your heart will have a greater compassion and empathy for them. Through your prayers, God turns strangers into loved ones. It’s one of the privileges of being faithful in all that you do.
Another way is to get in the habit of saying yes when your neighbors invite you to do something. Make it a point to attend the jewelry party (even if you don’t buy anything), or the neighborhood block party. If someone’s child is having a birthday, participate. Your neighbors need to know you’re vitally interested in them.
And while church activities are important, let’s not be so wrapped up in our church that we’re perceived as distant or aloof. Let’s open our home. Have school moms to your house for coffee and cake. Hospitality is a great gift to give others. Make a list of the things you’d feel comfortable doing, and then get at it.
As you get to know your neighbors, share your faith with them. I encourage you to earnestly pray for opportunities to introduce your friends to Christ. There’s no greater gift you could give to them. Paul prayed in Colossians 4:3 that God would open a door “to speak the mystery of Christ.” To walk in wisdom toward non-Christians. That he would make the most of every opportunity.
As you form friendships with neighbors, co-workers, and friends, let them see Christ through your love. There should never be any doubt about your relationship with God through Christ. Make Paul’s prayer your own with his encouragement to “let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one” (verse 6).
Reach out … speak out … and have fun as you love your neighbor!
Dear Lord, I love You with all my heart and soul. Expand my circle of people to pray for and give me a sincere heart for my neighbors. Let compassion and kindness give me a tenderness toward their needs. Lord, help me be a true neighbor and friend to these people You’ve placed near me. Amen.
Who do you already know in your neighborhood? Is she also a Christ follower? If so, ask her to join you in prayer for your neighbors.
Plan a get-together soon. It can be as simple as a coffee chat or something more elaborate as an outdoor movie night.
As you form friendships with neighbors, co-workers, and friends, let them see Christ through your love.