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christian love

12 Practical Ways to Show Neighborly Love in 2024


In keeping with the present series on love, today I'm sharing 12 practical ways one can demonstrate Christ's love in 2024. Without further delay, let's jump in:

  1. You learn that your spouse has cheated on you with a co-worker, instead of divorcing them, you tell them how much their unfaithfulness hurt you and then you forgive them.

  2. A drunk driver careens into a vehicle your son or daughter is driving leading to the death or permanent injury of your child. When the drunk driver is convicted and sent to jail, you mail them a Bible and a few other books for reading material with a note saying you have forgiven them.

  3. You get into a heated debate over politics with a friend, who then accuses you of misrepresenting the facts and calls you a couple of ugly names. Your first thought is to retaliate. You even feel like punching him or her in the face. Instead, you smile; say, "I respectfully disagree"; and walk away.

  4. A new neighbor has moved next door to your family. You invite them to your house for dinner and learn that she is a woman who used to be a man. You politely ask if she is familiar with the Jesus story. If her response is "No," share the gospel, the gospel being that Jesus Christ died for everyone's sin (including hers) and that eternal salvation is theirs to obtain simply by believing in that one act of atonement. No strings attached. If the answer is "Yes, but I don't believe it," try to understand your neighbor's story. Why did she choose to change her gender? How does she feel about you being a Christian? Be as polite and kind to her as you would be to Jesus if he sat at your table.

  5. You are out shopping at your favorite grocery store. Another shopper cuts you off while entering one of the shopping aisles. She does this multiple times during your visit. Then, when trying to get into the checkout lane, she cuts you off again and gets in front of you. These maneuvers appear to be deliberate. You say nothing and patiently wait for your turn to check out. You pray for the other shopper while standing in line.

  6. At your child's youth sporting event, another parent is overly vocal in praising and encouraging their child in the activity. They even get vocal in criticizing the referees, your child's team coach, and other players when they make mistakes. You find it annoying, and you notice that other parents do too. You slide over and sit beside this other parent and offer to buy them a concession from the concession stand. Whether they accept your offer or not, politely and quietly point out that their vocal expressions are making other parents uncomfortable and ask them to refrain from making other loud comments. Do this without making a scene.

  7. You show up to work one day and your boss fires you. Another employee has accused you of stealing from the company. You know you didn't do it. Your boss won't reveal who your accuser is, and, frankly, it doesn't matter. Ask your boss if the company has video surveillance cameras. If so, they should prove what really happened. If not, ask if the other employee has any physical evidence of your wrongdoing. Again, if not, politely explain to your boss that firing an employee without just cause could cost them much more than the stolen merchandise in the long run and that you are prepared to defend your honor in civil court. Without actual evidence that you have stolen from the company, they are likely to lose and such a loss could be damaging to their reputation as an employer and a company offering a product or service to the public. Ask your boss, politely, if they're willing to take that risk. Quickly forgive your boss, the company, and the other employee. (Your goal is not to prove your innocence; rather, you simply want to get your boss and the company to think about the significant risk to their reputation without expression of malice on your part.)

  8. You meet a person from another country and discover that they do not have proof of residency and are working under the table for a local employer. Offer to help this individual work through the process of obtaining legal residency. If they refuse, kindly and politely ask them why they would not want to make themselves a legal resident. Whatever their answer is, share the gospel with them and ask them if they would mind you calling their employer and notifying him or her of their illegal status. Explain that you are not trying to make waves but that you only want to ensure they do not run into legal trouble and be deported, or face jail time, simply for trying to find a better life than they had at home. If necessary, hire an interpreter to assist you in communicating your message. Do your best to get around reporting them. Your goal is not to disrupt their life, or their employer's business, but to keep them and your neighborhood safe. If you have solid reasons for believing, beyond mere suspicion or racial discrimination, that they are intent on criminal activity, then report them to the proper authorities; however, you should be one-hundred percent sure they are up to no good before doing so. (This is in keeping with Leviticus 19:34 and Exodus 20:16.)

  9. You throw a party at your house and one of your guests is making several others uncomfortable. Pull your guest aside and quietly, kindly, and politely explain how they are making others uncomfortable. Request that they change their behavior and encourage them to have a good time. If their behavior persists, politely ask them to leave the party but be sure to give them a couple of chances to change their behavior before doing so.

  10. Your former spouse calls Child Protective Services (CPS) and accuses you of abusing your child (this is common in child custody cases). When the CPS agent (or the equivalent) shows up at your house to hear your side of the story, refrain from being angry or abusive toward him or her (they're just doing their job). Answer their questions kindly and politely. Do not retaliate against your ex. Document your conversation with CPS and your ex for your records, but do not exaggerate or embellish the story. Stick to the facts and control your emotions.

  11. Your adult child reveals to you that they are marrying someone of the same gender and they do not agree with your interpretation of scriptures regarding marriage and homosexuality (conversely, if you are involved in a same-gender relationship and your adult child says to you that they do not agree with your interpretation of scriptures regarding these topics and does not recognize your union, this also applies). Respect your child's views regarding their interpretation of the Bible verses they use to justify their ideas while explaining politely why you interpret the scriptures as you do. At the end of the day, you are not likely to change each other's opinion. Accept that and agree to disagree. You'll have to decide whether your views are strong enough that you will not participate or attend the wedding ceremony, and then face the consequences of your decision, even if the consequences are that your child disowns you and breaks off communication with you. Pray for them, and pray for yourself that God might reveal to you where you may be wrong (either in your interpretation of scripture or your behavior toward your adult child).

  12. Your father- or mother-in-law tells you he or she wishes their child had married someone else. Smile and say, "Thank you for sharing that. I know you love your child and want what is best for him/her, and so do I. He/she has chosen me and our love is real and genuine. I hope you see that." Then get on with your life and hope your father- or mother-in-law comes around.

christian love

I realize these are all difficult situations, but they are real-life situations that most of us will face at some point in our lives. None of us will face all of these situations, but all of us will likely face at least one of these during our lifetimes (or something similarly disconcerting). If you can demonstrate Christ's love in the face of these situations, then you should be able to do so during the more bland parts of our lives, during the everyday run-of-the-mill moments that pop up countless times each day. Our character is revealed during the stressful moments, not the ordinary ones.

While I don't expect everyone to disagree with all of these points, I do believe that if faithfulness to Christ is your goal during the difficult moments in life, then you will look for ways to honor him when you'd rather protect your ego, your opinion, or your honor. In that spirit, I offer these 12 practical ways to demonstrate Christ's love in 2024. The list is not exhaustive.

Allen Taylor is the author of I Am Not the King.

 

This post was first published by Author Allen Taylor at Paragraph. The image was obtained from Pexels and modified using Canva.

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Allen Taylor
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Writer, editor, publisher. Content strategist for fintech, blockchain, and crypto firms.


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