“And the second is equally as important.”
Equally important to loving God with all your heart, mind, soul, and strength is…
Loving your neighbor as you love yourself. Matthew 22:39
This one’s hard isn’t it? Loving imperfect people?
People can’t see our hearts. They can’t tell how much we love God . . . except by our words and actions. By the way we love imperfect people.
But they’re difficult. Sometimes they’re really difficult.
And we live at a time when it’s easy to hide behind keyboards and screens. We can avoid interaction keeping ourselves entertained and busy but separate.
But when we get up and love – things happen. And maybe it’s time for us to get up and get out there and love big . . . love like Jesus.
Last weekend we were the recipients of neighbor love.
The snow started falling shortly after we got out of bed. It was one of the Alberta Clipper storms that dumped a couple of inches of snow very quickly and then it was gone.
Rev doesn’t shovel snow since his heart surgery and a fall that left him with a broken arm that healed only after the addition of plates and screws. Last year, he decided I wouldn’t be shoveling snow anymore either.
When I looked out my office window and noticed our neighbor plowing our driveway and sidewalk Rev and I were both very thankful. A gift. No expectation of payment. He said it was just something he wanted to do.
Neighbor love does. It’s simply taking care of each other. Offering kindness, compassion, help, and much more.
15 Ways to Love Your Neighbor
Get to Know Them
“The shortest distance between two people is a story.” ~Patti Digh
Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. Colossians 3:13
Listen to Them
“There’s a lot of difference between listening and hearing.” ~G.K. Chesterton
“How would your life be different if…You stopped making negative judgmental assumptions about people you encounter? Let today be the day…You look for the good in everyone you meet and respect their journey.” ~Steve Maraboli
Be Kind to Them
“Three things in human life are important: the first is to be kind; the second is to be kind; and the third is to be kind.” ~Henry James
Have Compassion on Them
“Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.” ~Leo Buscaglia
Be Patient with Them
Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love. Ephesians 4:2
“You have not lived today until you have done something for someone who can never repay you.” ~John Bunyan
Serve with Them
For you have been called to live in freedom, my brothers and sisters. But don’t use your freedom to satisfy your sinful nature. Instead, use your freedom to serve one another in love. Galatians 5:13
“Gratitude is the ability to experience life as a gift. It liberates us from the prison of self-preoccupation.” ~John Ortberg
So encourage each other and build each other up, just as you are already doing. 1 Thessalonians 5:11
Celebrate with Them
Each day holds a surprise. But only if we expect it can we see, hear, or feel it when it comes to us. Let’s not be afraid to receive each day’s surprise, whether it comes to us as sorrow or as joy It will open a new place in our hearts, a place where we can welcome new friends and celebrate more fully our shared humanity. ~Henri Nouwen
Grieve with Them
“Shared joy is a double joy; shared sorrow is half a sorrow” ~Swedish Proverb
Show Them Jesus
“Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.” John 13:35
Pray for Them
Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results. James 5:16
This is Random Acts of Kindness Week.
Reach out. Do something for someone without expectation or ulterior motive.
Just imagine the difference we could make if we really loved our neighbor as we love ourselves.
Thank you so much for joining me today.
And a thank you to BibleGateway.com for sources.
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