Love, that Neighbor as Your Self Thing…

 

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Excerpt from my book

Love a 40 Day Biblical Approach to Love

Part I

Leviticus 19:18

but you shall love your neighbor as yourself…

Whoa, I don’t like the sound of this verse. You mean love Mr. Smith from down the street, the guy that never says hello? There has got to be an alternative, or plan B. I really don’t even know my neighbors. Good Christians we have a messed up view of this “love” thing. We think first that our love is reserved only for our honey, babies when they’re not wet, puppies and weekends.

 

The love God calls us to, has nothing to do with wet kisses, wet noses, and lovely dovey feelings. Christ’s love is all about loving the unlovable, the unlovable on your street and the next street over. It goes further even than that; your neighbors are everyone, all people.

 

But I’ll let you off the hook; you just have to start with your street, your neighborhood. There is stuff happening in your neighborhood, maybe right next door that God’s love through you can make better. You have been blessed by the saving grace of Jesus. Don’t you think your neighbor could use a bit of that God love too? A smile, a small act of kindness, maybe a plate of homemade cookies is what your neighbor needs to bring the good news into their lives.

 

We all aren’t called to be missionaries to a foreign country. But somehow our neighborhoods are like a foreign country. We are all isolated and alone behind our closed doors. Reach out, love your neighbors; it’s a God thing.

 

Try these:

  1. You’re out mowing the lawn or washing the car. The neighbor drives by or walks out the front door. Wave, say hello, walk over and talk about the weather. Just start some communication. Ask the Lord to take it from there.
  2. Write all your neighbors down on a list. Start small and write just those on your side of the block. In an apartment, how about those on your floor? Pray for the people on that list. Hold up their names in prayer and ask how you can show God’s love to them. Then stand back and watch God at work in their lives. Watch out because God will do amazing things for you and your neighbors.

Frank Walker
Marriage and Family Therapist

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