How to Love Your Neighbor from a Distance
By Rick Warren
Garage door openers are a wonderful convenience, aren’t they? When you come home after a long day at work, you can just drive right in and close the door, ensuring you don’t have to see another soul before you reach the comfort of your home.
But during a pandemic—and anytime, really—that convenience can keep Christians from following one of the most basic commands in the Bible: "If you really keep the royal law found in Scripture, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself,’ you are doing right" (James 2:8 NIV).
Love your neighbor as yourself. It’s such a simple command, yet most Americans don’t even know their neighbors—and you can’t love somebody you don’t know.
Did you know that God enjoys watching the people he created have fellowship with each other? In Zechariah 3:10, he says, "Each of you will invite your neighbor to come and enjoy peace and security, surrounded by your vineyards and fig trees" (GNT).
You probably don't have vineyards in your backyard, but you might have a tree in your apartment common area. Maybe there are even benches! Or if you live in the suburbs, you might have a flower garden, a fire pit, or just a patch of grass. The point is not to have a pretty place to offer, but to make the choice to be friendly and get to know your neighbors.
This is a unique time that offers a lot of opportunities to get to know the people around you. You already know most people are at home right now. And, they’re also exercising outside more. Why not just sit on your front porch, wave, and even greet the people going by? You never know when a friendly gesture might eventually lead to spiritual conversations.
Do you have a yard project? Take your time so you can be present and make more connections with your neighbors. Go to the dog park and make it a point to talk to at least one person while you’re there. Offer to share a puzzle or a board game with your neighbor. Are you grilling or making s’mores? Move it to the front yard, and share with your neighbors. Do you normally run or jog? Consider walking more and leaving your earbuds at home so it’s easier to start conversations.
It may seem counterintuitive to get closer to people when you should be keeping your distance. But there are so many ways to love your neighbor, even when you’re six feet apart.
Don’t let the current circumstances be your excuse not to follow God’s command to love your neighbor. Make 2020 count by reaching out, opening up, and sharing life with your neighbors so they can one day share eternity with you.
For more Daily Hope with Rick Warren, please visit pastorrick.com!
“Perhaps the most important role you can play in the life of a child is teaching them to trust God through prayer. It’s the key to living with hope.” —Pastor Rick
That’s why it’s so important to strengthen the hope of kids by introducing them to Jesus’ model for prayer at an early age. And we’re excited to help you do that with Pastor Rick’s children’s book, The Lord’s Prayer: Words of Hope and Happiness.
Filled with thoughtful insights from Pastor Rick as well as stunning illustrations from award-winning artist, Richard Jesse Watson, this book brings the poetic scripture from the King James Version alive for readers young and old. It’s sure to become a meaningful bedtime ritual, a treasured memory, and by God’s grace, a legacy that bears good fruit for generations to come.
This book is a perfect way to share the beauty and richness of The Lord’s Prayer with the children the Lord has placed in your life. And it’s our thanks for your gift below to help Daily Hope take the Good News to more people everywhere. So please request a copy for yourself or a friend today, and thanks for your generosity!
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This devotional © 2018 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
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