“Little children, let us not love with word or with tongue, but in deed and truth.”
(1 John 3:18; NASB)
We all know loving our neighbor is one of God’s commands, but what does that mean? If someone were to ask you how you have loved your neighbor, what would you say? Love is an action word, which means if you love your neighbor, action is going to be required to show it. We can say we love them because we don’t have any ill feelings toward them, but that is not love. I think many of us have a hard time with this love thing because we’re only thinking about those in our immediate circle of friends or sphere of influence. If there is someone in need within that circle, we might consider how we can show our love by helping them in some way. But if there is no real need there, we’re at a loss as to how to love our neighbor.
There are hurting people everywhere. We hear it all the time. We hear it so much that most of us tend to tune it out because it’s outside of our immediate circle of everyday experiences. But like I said earlier, love is an action word. If you don’t personally know anyone who needs help, you don’t have to look far to find someone that does. As a Christian, that is exactly what you should be doing. The Bible tells us that:
“whoever has the world’s goods, and sees his brother in need and closes his heart against him, how does the love of God abide in him?” (1 John 3:17)
Loving your neighbor means looking for the surrounding need in your neighborhood, your town, your state, anywhere, and taking some sort of action to help with that need. It doesn’t have to be money. Not everyone has extra funds to give. But every one of us has something to give that will help someone. If one of your neighbors is sick or hurt, offer to do something for them that would lessen their load. You could find a local shelter and ask how you can help. You can volunteer at a local hospital, senior center, youth center, or ask your pastor if there is anyone in the congregation that might need some help. The list of opportunities is endless.
Take time this week to consider how you can help someone in need. You will find that once you make the effort to get out and do it, it will be so rewarding that you will want to do it again and again.
Have a great week and God bless.