“Jesus replied, “The most important commandment is this: ‘Listen, O Israel! The LORD our God is the one and only LORD. And you must love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength.’ The second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ No other commandment is greater than these.”” Mark 12:29-31 (NLT)
Do You Love Your Neighbor? Your ACTUAL neighbor?
This past weekend, I had the opportunity and privilege to put the “love your neighbor” commandment into action alongside 2000+ other members of my church during Love Day (#loveday16). People participated in over 70 different outreaches throughout the Tulsa, OK Metro area. As a part of the larger Serve Day 2016, we joined 307 other churches across the globe to love our neighbors. I hope each of you were able to find your own way to love your neighbor too this weekend! More than at Love Day, I was able to love my neighbors…my ACTUAL neighbors…this past week as well.
Do you really love your neighbor, your actual, literal neighbor?
Leading up to Love Day, I mentioned that I have been doing a group book study on the book Servolution and some personal individual study on how to love your neighbor. There has been some great practical advice about reaching out to love others around you. Something that stood out and was a bit convicting for me was to love my ACTUAL neighbors.
I’ve lived in my neighborhood for 15 years now, and do you know that up until this past week I’ve never even met or talked to at least half of the neighbors on my street. It’s kind of embarrassing. Or maybe you can relate? It’s so easy, and honestly more convenient, to just keep to ourselves. We don’t have to deal with the awkwardness or messiness of dealing with strangers and their potential “issues”. However, in keeping to ourselves we might be missing out on not only obeying Jesus’ commandment to love your neighbor but also the joy that comes with it as a byproduct.
It’s rewarding to love your neighbor
After my reading and studies on how to love your neighbor, I’ve tried to be more purposeful about it. I’ve especially tried to step out and show love to the people right here in my own neighborhood. It’s taken a lot of prayer and getting out of my comfort zone. Can I tell you though…It’s been so very rewarding. I had such a great week this past week!
Sometimes it seems like when you try to help others, you end up getting more out of it than they do. By stepping out of my comfort zone recently to talk to my neighbors, I have received loads of unexpected benefits. I’ve made some new friends, both young and old. I got some history lessons (I love history!), and I even learned what a Dogtrot house is! I also ended up with some fresh eggs from one of the neighbor’s chickens! Most importantly, my heart and soul were happy and full at the end of the day.
On a mission to love our neighbors
The boys had to get pretty creative to get a rope around a broken limb hanging about 40 ft over our drive!
This past week our community suffered a severe storm with tornado strength winds and the accompanying damage. Thankfully we had no damage to our property. We only had a couple trees and several limbs down, a 2 day power outage, and a big mess to clean up. Many of my neighbors were not so lucky. There were several trees on top of houses.
As a result, the kids and I decided it would be a great opportunity to serve! The day after the storm we set out on a mission to Continue reading