Love Your Neighbor

Below are ideas of how to love my neighbor with actions, words, and gifts. There is no particular order. We focus on small acts that make a big impact! Please note: DO MORE THAN EXIST is constantly adding and expanding on each gesture. Simply click on each one for more details.

Love Neighbor How to

Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law. Romans 13:8 (NIV)

Pray for them

There are some neighbors in this world that are very hard to love. Whether that neighbor is difficult, rude, or you just don’t know what you can do to love them, prayer is certainly a way to love your neighbor.

How do you do that? Praying for your neighbor to be aware of God’s presence is a nice way to start. You can pray for the Holy Spirit to intercede and help you pray for them. Remember to close the prayer “In Jesus’ Name, Amen”.

A little more about prayer:

Prayer is the MOST important part of your life! Let me reiterate, prayer is SO incredibly important. The more you know God personally, the better your prayer life will be.

Pray before a crisis happens, pray in the morning before your day starts, and pray at night before your body, heart, and mind rest. Stand firm in Christ.

When you pray, find a place that is your secret place to pray, where there are NO distractions. A place where you can be your total and true self. Your prayer place is a place where you can cry, sob, yell, and sing without the world looking at you and judging you.

Invite the Holy Spirit to come and guide your prayer. Playing instrumental music in the background helps me welcome the Holy Spirit.

To close your eyes or keep them open? It doesn’t matter. I do both. The Bible doesn’t say you have to close your eyes.

To go deeper in prayer, memorize scripture and recite it back to God in your prayer.

When I pray I like to go in this kind of order:

  1. Praising God and telling Him how great He is.
  2. Thanking Him for everything big and small that comes to mind.
  3. Confessing my sin and asking for forgiveness, getting right with God.
  4. Asking for the Holy Spirit to come into my heart and help me pray.
  5. Asking for protection over the Enemy, and using God’s armor to stand firm next to Christ.
  6. Other prayer requests, praying for people, situations, and myself according to His will.
  7. Asking all in Jesus’ name. Sealing the prayer in and through Jesus. For instance, I end the prayer something like this… “Thank you Jesus, I ask all this in your name, in Jesus’ name, Amen.”

Sometimes, on challenging days, my order goes out the window and I simply talk to Him, lament, cry, and get it all out. He is full of truth, love, mercy, and hope. He is the only One. Pour into Him, trust Him. Ask Him. Love Him.

Get to know them

Loving your neighbor is as simple as asking them a few questions that spark their interest. Dale Carnegie hit the nail on the head with his book “How to Win Friends and Influence People” I honestly think this book got forgotten about considering what I’m seeing out in the world. This is a must-read for your high school student, young twenties, and for those who want to do more than exist.

Small Acts of Kindness

This is one of the best ways to love your neighbor. Kindness is a simple thing that has a big impact. Simply smiling and saying “Hello” helps the neighbor (pretty much anyone who comes in our path) feel noticed. Holding the door open for others is another simple act. Calling others by their name is a great and kind gesture. Frankly, having manners and making small conversation is a kind way to love your neighbor. These acts require no money or status, everyone on this planet can do these small acts of kindness.

Take note of what is happening around you, if you see an opportunity to help out someone, take that as a hint from the Holy Spirit and act on it immediately before you have a chance to think about it. 

Be patient, be kind

Being patient is part of the Fruit of the Spirit. In 1 Corthinthians 13:4 we read that love is patient, love is kind. Everyone works a little bit differently and at a various paces. Embrace who they are, be patient with them. Treat them how you would like to be treated. Listen.

Smile

A smile is a simple way to express to someone you see them. And you know what? There are times that’s what people need to get through the day. Just a simple smile…teeth or no teeth…bring a little joy into someone’s heart. Need some tips, check out this blog post on how smiling reduces stress.

“Every time you smile at someone, it is an action of love, a gift to that person, a beautiful thing.” – Mother Teresa

Give them a small gift

Giving a small simple gift can go a long way. Simple things like a balloon , a few flowers, homemade cookies or muffins, or some veggies from your garden will be great! This doesn’t have to be complicated, expensive, or personable.

If you want to go more into depth, here are some more ideas in these blog posts:

Gift Ideas for Hard-to-Buy People

9 Gift Ideas to Comfort Someone

Use your manners

There’s a saying “Manners make a man/woman”. Expressing genuine manners brings self-dignity to not only the person receiving, but giving good manners. Being polite, respectful, and thinking of others rather than yourself shows an act of love towards others and helps you lead a blameless life. Of course, abide by the 10 Commandments the moral law. 

Equality in this world starts in the heart, and manners are an action we can take today to bring peace. Guard your heart. May your words and actions reflect what is in your heart. For your heart is a wellspring of life. (Proverbs 4:23)

Some common manners are:

– say “Please and Thank you”

– look people in the eye when talking to them

– hold the door for people no matter if their sex, beliefs, or age.

– pick up after yourself at your own home, guest’s home both indoors and outdoors, your hotel room, vacation rental, and even the public restroom and fast food joint.

– write a thank note or send a thank you text for gifts

– chew with your mouth shut, don’t talk with food in your mouth, quiet those bodily functions, place your napkin in your lap at a restuarant or guest’s home, eat your food don’t play with it, and offer to help with food prep or clean up.

– say “Excuse me” or “I’m sorry” when you need to pass by someone in a tight space or when you need to speak up (interupt politely)

– respect those who are older than you

– put your phone away and turn off the ringer

Practice generosity

In 2 Corinthians 9:6-7, Paul clearly states: “Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.”

As for how much to give, give what your heart says…remember to be cheerful.

In Leviticus 27:30 it talks about the 10% tithe. This is in the Old Testament. Christ’s sacrifice of himself removed this mandate. It’s a great guide, but ultimately God wants a cheerful giver whether it’s 10%, 2%, or 110%.

Jesus told his followers to give to everyone who asks you (Luke 6:30).

For more information on what the Bible says about giving, visit theNIVBible.com site.

Drop off some flowers

Flowers are little gifts of joy. They are a traditional gift. But they work! Flowers bring joy into the room. They are truly a sign of love from God; He created them! Whether flowers are bought in a store, roadside stand, or in your garden, they will brighten someone’s day. And you don’t have to spend tons on flowers. It’s the gesture that counts. 

On a budget? Check out roadside stands. Trader Joe’s also has little bouquets for under $5. Some retailers might sell by the stem, carnations usually are under $1 each.

 In the Bible, flowers often symbolize love, faith, peace, life, beauty, prosperity, and hope. 

Jesus says in his Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 6:28-29 “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these.”

There are many references to flowers and plants in the Bible. Giving flowers or plants to your neighbor is an act of love. Here are a couple to get started:

Song of Solomon 2:1 talks about the rose of Sharon, and the lily of the valleys.

Isaiah 35:1-2 says …like the crocus, it will burst into bloom; it will rejoice greatly and shout for joy.

Make them laugh

Laughter is so good. But laughing together with someone is the best! Do you find yourself laughing harder because the other person is laughing so much? Whether it’s a silly story, a tumble on the ground, or a joke, let’s get each other laughing.

Joyce Meyer even says that God gave us the ability to laugh to benefit us. Laughter helps us fight against anxiety, fear, and stress. Yes, it’s a fact that laughing reduces stress. Proverbs 17:22 says a cheerful heart is good medicine.

Need some Dad jokes?

Lunchbox Note Jokes are sure to get your eyes rolling and mouth laughing. 

★ 112 family-friendly jokes

Click here for more details and to support DO MORE THAN EXIST! laughing

Lend a hand

Lending a hand to a fellow neighbor can look different every day. Hebrews 13:16 says not to forget and do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased. Helping someone is loving God.

Maybe it’s picking up something someone dropped or telling them they dropped something. Helping a neighbor could also be mowing their lawn or shoveling their driveway or sidewalk. It could even look like cleaning their house when they simply can’t.

Service feels good. God put that in our hearts. It’s part of who we are. Jesus came to serve. Ephesians 2:10 says:  For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. (NIV)

Keep your eyes open to see how you can lend a hand to someone. Listen for cues. And pay attention to your heart and act on it. The Holy Spirit may be nudging you to help! 

Write an encouraging note

Writing a note is an enduring gift. Words go a long way. Listen up, people want to know they are loved, they are heard, and they are valuable. They want to know they exist. You notice them and that you are thinking of them or praying for them. God tells us these things in His promises. We are His boots on the ground. Let’s pass the message on to others. 

A simple note of encouragement or just to say “hey” is a small act with a big impact.

Here are some ideas for little statements with big meanings:

“Hey, just wanted to let you know I’m thinking about you.” (and/or praying)

“I saw/heard this such and such today and I totally thought of you. Thought you would like to know.” (thought you would like a laugh).

“Remember when we did _____. Thinking of you today.”

“Miss you.”

“Let’s talk sometime.”

“I’m sorry.”

“Thanks.”

“Just wanted to say how beautiful are inside and out.” (handsome)

“I believe in you.”

“You are an inspiration. Thank you.”

“It’s okay. I’m here for you.”

“I thought you would like this card.”

“How are you doing? Really. How are you?”

Please handwrite a note and mail it. It doesn’t have to be a $5 greeting card. Head to the Dollar Store or make your own card/note. Use paper off a legal pad. Simply handwrite a note, it means SO much more than a text or email. 

 

 

Give them your time

Time is one of the most valuable things we have. Rick Warren says it like this: “When you give someone your time, you are giving them a portion of your life that you will never get back.” This is an act of love. 

What does that look like? Maybe it’s chatting at the mailbox, inviting them over for coffee, listening to them get something off their chest, visiting them at the hospital, helping them with a home project, or simply asking them how they are and listening.  

 

 

 

Who is your neighbor?

Your neighbor is the person who lives next door. And yes, your neighbors are the people who live on your street, in your building, or in your neighborhood. The people in the grocery store, gas station, and pharmacy are also your neighbor. What about the people at school and work? Yep. They are your neighbor too.

Loving your neighbor can sound a little overwhelming or impossible. In fact, some people will say, “Someone else will do it”. Will they though? Look at the statistics for the number of lonely people, suicides, and abuse. Some people don’t even know what love feels like. The second greatest commandment in the Bible is to love your neighbor (Mark 12:31, Matthew 22:39). There is always a way to love your neighbor…and it doesn’t take much. Just watch how little things make a big impact on those who receive and those who give. Read on for ideas on how to love your neighbor and impact the world.

Check out these other great blog posts!

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