When I was a young child I remember my grandfather helping the widow who lived across the alley from us. He also helped our neighbors who lived on both sides of us and those who lived across the street from our house. My grandfather was always willing to help whoever needed help. He lived with us and taught me so much in my growing up years. He especially taught me what loving your neighbor looked like.
Sometimes loving your neighbor means you roll up your sleeves and you get in the thick of it, doing what needs doing and helping out where it’s needed most. Sometimes it’s sitting on the front stoop and just hearing about their day (no one sits on the front stoop anymore). Sometimes it’s an inconvenience to help your neighbor, sometimes it means putting aside your own desires and doing for someone else.
Remember the parable of the Good Samaritan? Luke 10: 25 – 37
The Good Samaritan stopped and took care of the injured man. He stopped looking at his agenda, his calendar, and in today’s world, his phone, and he helped a perfect stranger who was injured. Why? Why did the Good Samaritan do this? The other two people just walked right on by without giving it a thought to help. What did the Good Samaritan know that the other people didn’t?
The Good Samaritan knew that this injured man was his neighbor. He helped/served/nurtured this neighbor back to health because it was the right thing to do. The Good Samaritan didn’t care what status the man had nor did he care about the cost. The Good Samaritan did what was right in the sight of the Lord.
We are all each other’s neighbor.
I’ve been listening to author/speaker John C. Maxwell again. He gave a good talk on YouTube a couple months back on how the five things he does every day.
1. Value people (serve)
2. Think of ways to value people (Serve)
3. Look for ways to value people. Ask yourself, “What can I do to add value to people?”
4. Do things that will add value to people.
Take 10 minutes at the end of the day to take an inventory of your day.
“Who did I add value to today? Who did I serve today?”
5. Encourage others to add value to people.
Adding value to people is the same as serving people. When you begin your day, write a list of all the people you come into contact with that day.
Family, children, teachers, siblings, spouses, bosses, coworkers, people you see on the bus, workout friends, mail person, checkout clerk, bank teller, the driver behind you, the bus driver, the barista making your coffee, your friend, your client, the house cleaner, maintenance person, Uber driver, waitstaff, order taker, social media acquaintance, your followers, doctor, nurse, etc.
It’s a long list. How many people can you add value to in a day? Make it fun. Go out of your way to add value. Ask yourself some questions about the people in your life. Giving from your heart and adding value (serving/loving your neighbor) these people may be the only glimpse of God they see.
In verse 37 of Luke 10, Jesus tells us to “Go and do likewise.”
Loving your neighbor becomes who you are when you make it a point to do this EVERYDAY!