3 Practical Ways to Be a Loving Neighbor

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Recently at church, I heard a sermon that really stuck out to me about practical ways to be a neighbor. I loved that they used the word “practical” because sometimes I leave a sermon with a good message in mind, but no memorable steps on how to actually put it into practice. I wanted to write about my take on this so you guys can be inspired to use your talents to be a good neighbor!

1. Try inviting someone new

I find that I have multiple circles or individual friends that I hang out with but often keep them from mixing. If someone asks me to get lunch and I say that I already have plans, why didn’t I just invite them along? Who’s to say that we can’t invite our classmate to eat with our group of friends, see if non-believers want to come to church, or ask a coworker to get coffee on a weekend?

Who do you want to get to know better?

Instead of waiting: act. Invite someone you want to know to get coffee, to go shopping, to go on a walk, or out to eat. Choose an activity that you know they like to do so it will be comfortable and you can get to know more about them! If God has put them on your heart to talk to and hang out with, there is a reason behind it.

2. Find your “ministry”

A few years ago, I discovered that I love baking cookies and sharing them with others because it spreads so much happiness! I started baking cookies to give to people so often that my mom started calling it “my ministry”. It makes my day to know I was able to brighten someone else’s with a treat.

Use your strengths in random acts of kindness!

Show people you care in the best way you know how. If having a conversation with someone about how much they mean to you is not the best way for you to get the point across, write them a card instead! Make your own “ministry” with something you love and could share with others. Putting to use a talent that you are already gifted with is an amazing way to love those around you.

3. Pay attention to the space around you

Is there anyone you see in class everyday but never talk to? Have you realized you’ve never really had a conversation with someone at work, the gym, or your favorite coffee shop? Why not? The community in which we spend our everyday is a great place to start getting to know people and spreading love. I’m guilty of it, but fear is no reason to stop you from reaching out.

Be aware to needs of others

So often we get caught up in the hurry and mini struggles in our daily lives, we forget this life isn’t about us. Paying attention to others’ lives will help shine light on ways we can be there for them.

Has someone you known been through a tough life change recently? Grieve with them. 

Is someone about to have a birthday? Celebrate with them.

Does someone need someone to talk to? Listen to them.

To be blunt, serving God might look weird. It might look shaky, or awkward, or out of the ordinary, but that’s the beauty of it… God calls us to be different. And we can’t let the fear of looking different stop us from trying, because that’s how it’s supposed to look.

Jesus replied: “'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'”

Matthew 22: 37-39

Sarah // @sarahcrawford12