Do you really know what it means to love your neighbor as yourself? By neighbor, I’m not just referring to the people who live near you. And saying “I love everyone” doesn’t amount to anything until you actually put it in action. Loving thy neighbor means offering food to someone who’s hungry. Providing shelter to those who have nowhere to go. Befriending your enemies, even when you don’t think they deserve your kindness. Love is so much more than just an emotion. It sometimes even requires you to step outside your comfort zone. The good news? There are many ways you can accomplish this.
Feed the Hungry
Not everyone has the privilege of eating three nutritious meals a day. It’s sad to say that world hunger is even an issue, but complaining about it isn’t going to solve anything. Food pantries/banks and soup kitchens are always in need of donations (as well as volunteers). Check online to find locations near your area.
Donate Unwanted Clothes
When’s the last time you cleaned out your closet? It’s a dreadful task, but completely worth it after weeding out wardrobe items you haven’t worn in ages. Before you give Goodwill a call, reach out to the people you already know who might need some new clothes.
Serve the Elderly
Some of our elders aren’t as capable of caring for themselves as we youngsters are, so I encourage you to provide them with a helping hand when needed.
Pay it Forward
Picture this: You’re driving through Chick-fil-A to grab a bite to eat. Once you pull up to the window to pay for your order, you’re told that it’s already been taken care of by the previous customer. Has this ever happened to you? Let me just say, it’s an awesome feeling. We formally know this as paying it forward, commonly initiated at grocery stores and in fast food drive-thrus. Your challenge as the receiver would be to keep the momentum going, by performing the same act of kindness to the person behind you. This usually starts a domino effect, leading to a chain of giving.
Give Your Car-less Friend a Lift
From someone who’s been there, my level of gratitude towards friends, family members, and co-workers who have given me rides in the past has never gone away. Knowing how tough it is to live without a car has caused me to sympathize with those who are going through the very same thing, so I provide lifts when I can.
Send a Care Package
Overseas troops, out-of-state college students, missionaries…imagine how homesick these individuals are. Care packages are the perfect reminder of home and loved ones.
Give the Parents a Break
It’s no secret that kids can be a handful. Us childless adults have the luxury of enjoying the company of someone else’s child, then sending them back home once they’ve worn us out. Parents, however, are on-call and on-duty 24/7. They’ll truly appreciate you for relieving them of their motherly or fatherly duties, even if it’s for a short amount of time. Occasionally offer to babysit for someone you know.
Sometimes, the best thing you can do for someone is to pray for them. Prayer literally has the power to turn a situation around for the better. The rule of thumb here is to not just pray for those you love, but also for your enemies.