Your neighbors are those people that are near you. It doesn’t have to be the person living next door. They can also be the ones that you see and encounter outside your neighborhood, such as a person next to you on the bus, the woman at the counter in a convenience store, or someone on the sidewalk begging for bread.
According to what the Bible says in Mark 12:31, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” It simply means that we have to be intentional in showing our love to others by treating them well, just like how we value ourselves.
But is it really possible to love others as yourself? Take a look at these 15 simple ways to love and be friendly with your neighboors
1. Be a friendly, approachable person.
Sometimes, we cannot deny that smiling at someone is hard, especially if you are going through a difficult situation. But be reminded that your smile can uplift a person’s spirit who is having a bad day.
That is why you should always crack a smile on your face whenever you see them. Although some might be unfamiliar to you, see to it that they can approach you easily anytime. You may also say “Hi” or “Hello”, and ask them about how they are doing.
2. Give and share unstintingly.
Be generous not only when it comes to your material possessions but also in terms of sharing your love, talent, abilities, and time. For example, you may donate some of your things that are no longer used. Or you may conduct classes, tutorials, and training for free. Do not hesitate to share your knowledge with others to help them.
3. Treat them with kindness.
Kindness is one of the most powerful tools you can use daily. It starts by speaking kind words to your neighbors. It can also be seen in your gestures and actions. For instance, you opt to speak words of encouragement to motivate and inspire them. And instead of being rude to them, show a considerate and tender nature.
4. Be peaceful.
Every one of us desires a peaceful world. We need peace in our society, workplace, and home. However, we seldomly experience it at times. This is because our surroundings have chaotic conditions. Some people choose to spread hate than love. Others find it hard to forgive, and they repay evil for evil.
That is why peace is vital in our lives. We need it not only for ourselves but in our relationships with other people too.
5. Do not judge them.
Judging other people based on their living standard and position in society is one of the worst things you can do for them. Do not consider yourself righteous enough to judge them. No matter spiteful a person is, we have no right to declare judgment over him/her except God.
Be fair in all you do and show no partiality to others. You have to treat a person well regardless of his/her social stratification.
6. Be humble.
Humility is embracing other people’s humanness without acting as either being less valuable or too important. In other words, you consider everyone with equal worth.
Do not behave as if you are all-knowing and better than your neighbors. If you have treated them unjustly, be humble to admit your mistakes and apologize. Do not be boastful with what you have. Learn to praise and appreciate them instead.
7. Show compassion.
Compassion is more than just a feeling. It is something that you do for others. If you have this attribute, you don’t only watch people suffer without doing anything. Instead, you show empathy and do your best to ease their suffering.
8. Help them when they need support and assistance.
Loving your neighbors also means being responsive to their needs. For instance, you make a way to respond to someone else’s needs. Instead of saying, “I don’t care”, you react favorably to the situation.
Needs are everywhere. You only have to be aware of every opportunity to help others. Share your love by being a solution to their problem. You may conduct volunteer work in your community. This can be done by supporting a local homeless shelter, doing a medical mission, or participating in a bloodletting activity.
9. Lend your ear to them.
How often do you listen to other people? Do you enjoy talking a lot, and listening is not your type?
Well, you need to learn to listen. When people know that they are heard, they feel loved and valued. That is why be attentive to the feelings and thoughts of your neighbors. When you strike up a conversation with them, try to listen instead of talking more.
10. Let them know you care.
Loving your neighbors also means that you are after their welfare. Let them know you care and encourage them if you have the chance. You may do this by talking to them and asking how they are doing. You may as well give them a gift of love, leave some goodies on their doorstep, or send them a note on their door.
11. Never seek revenge.
When you love your neighbors, you adjust to their humanness. Remember, we are all a work in progress. So, whenever they offend or injure you, do not avenge. Choose to respond legally and let the law do its part. Above all, know that vengeance is God’s. Hence, do not be overcome by evil.
However, loving others does not give them an excuse to hurt you. You should still know your worth as a person. If your life is already in danger, don’t just wait without doing any necessary action. Never allow them to do what they want and ruin your life.
12. Extend forgiveness and do not hold grudges.
It is normal to experience offense in this world. People can become cruel and may disrespect you. But whenever your neighbor feels sorry for his wrongful conduct toward you, who are you not to forgive him/her?
Love forgives. It opens the door to reconciliation. So, we ought to give it freely because even God forgave us for all our iniquities.
13. Be happy about their achievements and successes.
Sometimes, it is hard to celebrate with our neighbors, especially if we are envious of their accomplishments. We often think that we also deserve their success and what they enjoy.
But being happy for their victories is a manifestation of your love towards them. Do not show any resentment when you see them thriving. Celebrate with them when their business becomes successful. Congratulate them for having a brand-new car or for acquiring any other material possessions.
14. Serve them without hesitation.
Your willingness to serve does not mean you are less important than others. Instead, it shows that they matter to you. And serving them should be done in love, not out of duty.
For example, you can volunteer to check on their pets when they are on vacation. You can also do them a favor by offering help to do the shopping for the elderly.
15. Pray for them – if you are spiritual.
If you believe in the power of prayer, you can pray alone or with your family and prayer group. Also, you can have a regular prayer walk in the neighborhood or host a prayer meeting at home.
Love grows as you pray for your neighbors. No matter how stubborn and annoying they are, you can still embrace them through prayer – even those people you least want to pray for. You may as well ask them personally about their prayer requests.
Take the challenge.
Loving your neighbor might be a challenge, but you will ultimately benefit from doing it. Why? Because it means that we are imitating Jesus’ example – and God is pleased with it.
Also read: 13 Great Ways to Truly Love God