How to show God’s love to your neighbor

The Pharisees, part of the religious leaders of the day, enjoyed finding ways in which they

The Pharisees were concerned about Jesus and needed to find a way to get rid of the threat he presented

The Pharisees were concerned about Jesus and needed to find a way to get rid of the threat he presented

thought they could trip Jesus up. They devised questions they felt would entrap him. However, Jesus was perfect and knew exactly how to answer.

So, the Pharisees schemed to come up with another way to trap Jesus. They asked him “what is the greatest commandment in the law.”

Jesus answered in two parts. The first part was “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.” {Mark 12:30}

If you look at the 10 Commandments God gave to Moses, the first four commandments fit into this one answer.

These include:

God gave the 10 Commandments to Moses for the Israelites

God gave the 10 Commandments to Moses for the Israelites

1. Thou shalt have no gods before me—this means no one and nothing is more important than God

2. Thou shalt not make any graven image—we should not have any images that we worship. God wants us to worship him alone.

3. Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain—we live in a day and age in which this commandment is consistently broken without people flinching, whether it is in person, on TV or through social media. God’s name should be reverenced and not be used glibly.

4. Remember the Sabbath day and keep it holy—we should honor the Lord’s day and use it as a day of worship and rest. Again, we live in a day and age where this commandment is ignored.

The second part of Jesus answer to the pharisees was to “Love your neighbor as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these.” {Mark 12:31}

If you look at the remaining six commandments given to the Israelites, these all show loving your neighbor.

The Israelite were breaking the commandments even as God gave them to Moses. We continue to break them today and believe they are not relevant to us today--BUT THEY ARE.

The Israelite were breaking the commandments even as God gave them to Moses. We continue to break them today and believe they are not relevant to us today–BUT THEY ARE.

5. Honour thy father and mother

6. Thou shalt not kill

7. Thou shalt not commit adultery

8. Thou shalt not steal

9. Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor—do not lie, spread gossip or make up stories about another person.

10. Thou shalt not covet—we live in a day where we want to “Keep up with the Jones’s.” However, God doesn’t want us to long for what someone else has whether that is a house, car, spouse, job, etc.

In these six commandments, God is sharing ways in which we should treat others and acts we should not commit against them.

But, who is thy neighbor?

God commands us to love our neighbor regardless of who or what they are

God commands us to love our neighbor regardless of who or what they are

Let’s look at the description from Dictionary.com:

1. A person who lives near another

2. A person or thing that is near another

These two descriptions are expected. However, let’s look at the next two descriptions.

3. One’s fellow human being —to be generous toward one’s less fortunate neighbors

4. A person who shows kindliness or helpfulness toward his or her fellow humans—to be a neighbor to someone in distress

While our neighbor may be the person living next to us or in the cubical beside us at work, this person can also be the person we pass in the store, the individual on the street corner, the child in need, an elderly individual with no family or a single parent struggling, just to name a few.

So, what are some ways in which we can love thy neighbor as thyself?

  1. Be a good listener

    We judge by what's on the outside, but God judges by the inside. How often do we judge our neighbor from the outside instead of the inside?

    We judge by what’s on the outside, but God judges by the inside. How often do we judge our neighbor from the outside instead of the inside?

  2. Respect boundaries
  3. Show kindness
  4. Be honest
  5. Be real
  6. Seek out
  7. Show Forgiveness
  8. Live a life that is a witness for God
  9. Offer a helping hand
  10. Meet a need

So, how can you show HIS Kind of Love to your neighbor?

It may be a cliche, but it boils down to treating others the way you want to be treated. When frustration sets in, imagine yourself in that person’s shoes. Ask yourself how would you want to be treated if that were you?

How do you show love to your neighbor?