Bible reading plan Bible reading plan

Love Your Neighbour

19 February 2023

Love your neighbour as yourself.  It’s something we teach in our children’s church classes, and we recite it when our kids are fighting, but how often as adults do we think about the words in Romans 13?


Love your neighbour as yourself.  Romans 13:9b


Earlier in this chapter, it lists commandments or requirements of God’s law.  You must not commit adultery, murder, steal or covet.  When we follow this command to love our neighbour, we are fulfilling all the other requirements.  If you love someone, you don’t steal from them; if you love someone, you won’t murder them.  It is the same for all of the requirements God had given his people.  Love does no wrong to other people.


Instead, love gives, love protects, and love believes in the other person.  In Matthew 22, Jesus said that the greatest commandment is to love God and the second is like it; love your neighbour as yourself.


When we love, we are thinking of the other person before ourselves.  As humans, we are inherently selfish, thinking, “How will this affect me?”  God wants us to think about others first, as he does.  Jesus showed us the ultimate example of loving our neighbour when he died on the cross for us.  Knowing what would happen to him, he still thought about us before himself.


Parents are used to thinking of their children first.  We make sure they have everything they need.  If there is only one slice of pizza and they are hungry, we give it to them.  We make sure they have new clothes before we do.  We give up our plans to make sure they get to do things.  But are we thinking about our neighbours that way?


Walking in love is not always easy; in fact it can actually be really hard.  But when we love, we are responding to people the way God would. 


So what are some ways to love our neighbours?  The possibilities are endless, but here are a few practical ways to show love:

  • Watch the words that come out of your mouth.  We have all been there, driving down the road, and someone is driving without a thought for anyone else.  The next time you find a crazy driver, instead of making rude comments or calling the driver a not-so-nice name, try speaking blessings over them or pray for safety that they will make it to their destination without issues.
  • Serve others’ needs.  If you see someone at the shops who can’t reach something, don’t just walk by; grab it for them.  Clean litter around your neighbourhood, instead of complaining about it.  Check-in on your elderly neighbours: you may be the only one that does.
  • Speak words of life to others. Especially if words of affirmation are their love language.  Don’t just think nice things in your head - tell someone they are doing a good job. Encourage someone that they can do the new thing they are trying out instead of being the naysayer that stops them.  


Family Discussion

This week take some time to discuss as a family how you can show love to the people around you. How can you love your neighbour, sibling, spouse, parent or friend?

Photo of Jenn MacKay

Jenn MacKay

GoChurch Bradford