Who’s my neighbor?

(Originally posted to The Bullard Pack blog on 7/14/09)

Jesus stated that we are to “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength…..and love your neighbor as yourself.” (Mark 12:29-31)
Who are our neighbors? Are they just the people that live next door to us? I believe our neighbors are everyone around us.
My closest neighbors are my husband and 4 children. They give me a LOT of opportunities to love and serve them every minute of the day!!! Hugs, kisses, laundry, cooking, cleaning, teaching…..
Then I have my neighbors that live next door. On one side we have a single mother with 2 children. I have an opportunity to love her daughter almost every day when she comes over to play, and share meals, and talk about…whatever.
Then we have our friend neighbors. For the past 6 months or so, I have spent countless hours talking to, praying with, and encouraging a friend who is in the midst of a painful separation from her husband. Ironically, it has been a blessing to me to witness her relationship w/ God grow to a much deeper level.
We also have extended family neighbors. Periodically this summer we are hosting our niece who is living a life of bitterness and hopelessness. We hope to show her an extraordinary kind of love while she’s here. The only kind of love that is full of hope; the love of Jesus.
I also walk past neighbors every time I go to the grocery store. These are my stranger neighbors. I don’t know these people, but I can still show them love by little acts of kindness. All it takes is a smile, or opening a door for them, or letting them go ahead of me in line b/c they look like they are in a hurry.
We have neighbors all around us. The question is…do we look for opportunities to love them, or are we just too busy in our lives to notice them, or even care?
Love your neighbor. It’s a simple command. But we must be intentional to DO it!
–Jodie
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