10 Verses that Teach Us How To Be a Good Neighbor
Over and over again, the Bible reminds us that, as Christ followers, we are called to love our neighbors as ourselves. It is our privilege and responsibility to care for others and to love them the way God loves them. With the Bible as our guide, we can understand what it truly means to be a good neighbor.
We are a people who are motivated to do better and be better. We are ladder climbers and glass ceiling shatterers. We fight for a seat at the table. We are activists, philanthropists, and difference makers. Ours is a society of dreamers and doers who work to make this world a better place—for ourselves and for others.
The good we are capable of is almost mind boggling. As a whole, society seems to be making vast strides in beginning to love one another better, but as long as there are those who are still mistreated, slighted, systematically discounted, abused, and neglected, we still have far to go if we want to love our neighbors the way the Bible teaches us to love our neighbors.
Over and over again, the Bible reminds us that, as Christ followers, we are called to love our neighbors as ourselves. It is our privilege and responsibility to care for others and to love them the way God loves them. This is Kingdom work. This truth permeates Scripture and should permeate our thoughts, words, deeds, and actions as well. With the Bible as our guide, we can understand what it truly means to be a good neighbor.
10 Verses That Teach Us How to Be A Good Neighbor:
1: A Good Neighbor Does Not Elevate Himself Over Another
“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.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”
2: A Good Neighbor Does No Harm
“Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law. The commandments, “You shall not commit adultery,” “You shall not murder,” “You shall not steal,” “You shall not covet,” and whatever other command there may be, are summed up in this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Love does no harm to a neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.”
3: A Good Neighbor Is Trustworthy and Inclusive
“Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to your neighbor, for we are all members of one body. Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only that which is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.”
4: A Good Neighbor Cares for Others
1 Corinthians 10:24
“No one should seek their own good, but the good of others.”
5: A Good Neighbor Wants Others to Succeed
1 Thessalonians 5:11
“Therefore, encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.”
6: A Good Neighbor Is Generous
“Whoever despises his neighbor is a sinner, but blessed is he who is generous to the poor.”
7: A Good Neighbor Harbors No Hatred in Their Heart
1 John 4:20-21
“Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen. And he has given us this command: Anyone who loves God must also love their brother and sister.”
8: A Good Neighbor Treats Others How They Want to Be Treated
“So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.”
9: A Good Neighbor Loves Others Without Hesitation Because They Have Been Loved
“My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.”
10: A Good Neighbor Leaves the Judgement to God
“There is only one Lawgiver and Judge, the one who is able to save and destroy. But you- who are you to judge your neighbor?”
Final Thoughts: A Good Neighbor Is A Good Witness Of The Gospel
“Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go.When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
The Bible has much to say about loving our neighbor because God chose to use us, his followers, as ones who would spread the good news of the gospel though our words, our deeds, and our actions. It is our privilege and responsibility to love and care for our neighbors. Though we can see many who are rising up to accept this calling that Scripture makes plain, there is still so much more that we can do.
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A Prayer to Help Us Be Good Neighbors
We know that you call us to love others as you have loved us. You task us with the holy job of caring for all of those around us, including those who have been marginalized, hurt, oppressed, overlooked, taken advantage of, and ignored. Give us eyes to see and a heart that feels compassion. Help us to be the kind of neighbor that you call us to be.
Help us to never elevate our self above someone else or to do harm to another. Instead, help us to be trustworthy, inclusive, caring, encouraging, and generous. Root out any hatred that may be in our hearts and replace it the goodness, mercy, grace, and love that we have learned through your example. Remind us that we are not called to be judges, but to be witnesses who lovingly point others to you through our words, deeds, and actions.
In Jesus’ name we ask these things.
Bobbie Schaeperkoetter is a writer, speaker, community builder, and an encourager of women at http://www.bobbieschae.com. She’s doing her best to honor God in the craziness of everyday life and she’d love to walk alongside you as you do the same. You can connect with Bobbie through her website or on Instagram at http://www.instagram.com/bobbieschae or on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/bobbieschae.
Photo Credit: Getty Images