Whether you’re a Christian or not, you’ll probably have heard the phrase ‘love your neighbour’ in some shape or form before. Even though it’s a common phrase, I’m sure we’d all have different experiences and examples regarding how we’ve demonstrated that way of thinking and living.
I recently had the privilege of witnessing this concept in action, as I accompanied an elderly lady from Everyday Church to pay her neighbour a visit.
Actually, thinking about it, privilege is such an understatement. I was so blessed to be there.
For quite some time now she has been serving this neighbour; displaying an exceptional amount of love and humility towards them. As she listens to them, shares the love of God with them and prays for them, the guy has gone from a place of not wanting much to do with God at all, to recently accepting the truth that Jesus really is his Saviour.
As we sat chatting together it was remarkable to observe my elderly friend making a disciple of Jesus out of this man (some 2 or 3 decades younger than she is). In such a gentle and caring way, she has been instructing him on this new sense of hope, peace and forgiveness he can now experience and it was incredible to learn how these truths are starting to permeate through his head and heart as he explores more of God for himself.
He has lived with Cerebral Palsy his whole life and said one thing that I think I’ll always remember:
‘I now know that God doesn’t look at me and see a disabled man – my disability doesn’t define who I am. I belong to God’.
You may choose to love your neighbours in a very practical way (cooking, cleaning, gardening, taking out their bins, washing their car etc etc). You may choose to love them by inviting them in for a cup of tea and giving a listening ear to their problems. You may be given the opportunity to show boldness (like my friend) and share of your life-altering faith in Jesus.
We live in a culture where people try and avoid their neighbours and keep themselves to themselves. Jesus doesn’t give us that option. It’s not easy and you need to be very deliberate with how you follow that direction from Him. But however you choose to do it – love your neighbour indeed.
God will be there with you.
It may just change their lives completely.
And that makes it the most wonderful adventure to be on.