Love your Neighbor as Yourself
– Mark 12:31
By Brett Ellington; PHH Calhoun
Here, Jesus reminds us that besides loving God with our whole being, there is nothing greater that we can do while here on this earth than to love our neighbor. So what does it really mean to love your neighbor? What does that look like? With all that is going on in our world right now, I can think of no better time for us to reach out and be able to love our neighbor!
Love comes in many forms from the people in my life. I always enjoy getting gifts or receiving special treatment. And while I have been blessed to receive many gifts over the years, probably the one that has been the most beneficial to me is the ‘gift’ of encouragement. When someone encourages you, it tells you that they have your best interest in mind. They want you to succeed or get through a difficult time. It tells you that they really care about you and your well-being. It also says that they are aware of what is going on in your life. They want to celebrate the good times with you and help you through the difficult ones. It says they believe in you! That is why it is my favorite expression of love. And in my opinion, the most beneficial expression of love!
The great thing about giving encouragement is that anyone can give it, and it does not cost us anything. It just takes a minute or two of your time and you can give it as often as you want.
Who doesn’t need to be encouraged? We all need encouragement every day! Even on the good days! Encouragement can come in the form of timely or meaningful words, a quick note or text, a simple gift or even just a hug or a smile. But as an old commercial used to say, ‘a little can go a long way’.
So let’s begin each day looking for opportunities to ‘love our neighbor’ by providing encouragement. When we gather up a group of ‘neighbors’ that we can encourage, we will also find that those same neighbors are there to encourage us when we need it. How many people can you love today? As many people that you come in contact with that need to be encouraged!
Prayer: Help me to love my neighbor through the gift of encouragement. Allow me to begin each and every day with opportunity to encourage my friends, family, and co-workers. Thank you for the gift of encouragement. May I use that gift today!