Christian Hospitality: 10 Ways to Love Your Neighbor
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Over the next few weeks on this blog, we’ll explore different ways to connect with other people and welcome them into our homes and lives. These types of efforts are often rewarded by stronger community bonds and new friendships. Those are wonderful blessings: good for your heart, mind, and soul. But as Christians, there’s another, more important reason behind our desire to love our neighbors.
Jesus asked us to.
It’s that simple. A heart of hospitality honors God through obedience.
Here’s the other thing. Loving our neighbor is something that needs to happen even when it isn’t personally rewarding. Sometimes hospitality it will be downright hard (and sometimes it will be a lot of fun). Some people are easier than others to love. Love them, all.
Inviting people into our homes is one form of hospitality, and one way to love our neighbors, but it’s not the only way. Hospitality is more of an attitude of the heart than anything else. I’ve heard it said that hospitality is when someone feels at home in your presence. You don’t have to be at home to make someone feel that way.
How can we make people feel at home when they’re around us? It takes practice and an intentional effort to anticipate the needs of others. I’m still working on it. There have been many times when I’ve spent time with someone, left, and only later did a thought on how I could have helped come to mind! If that happens to you, too, be gentle with yourself. We’re not perfect. It’s the heart that counts.
I find that when an idea comes to mind, on how I can help someone, it’s best to write it down before I forget.
Hospitality is God’s love acting itself out in tangible ways. Let’s be on the lookout for ways to be of service to our neighbors.
Here’s one of my favorite verses on the topic,
“For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me,” – Matthew 25:35
Below I’ve listed some practical ways we can love our neighbors. I hope the list inspires you and prompts even more ideas.
- Invite people over for dinner.
- Organize group fitness activities (running, biking, etc.).
- Take them some cookies or flowers.
- Leave an encouraging note.
- Take their garbage can out or in from the curb.
- Organize a neighborhood block party.
- If you have young kids, organize a playdate with another mom.
- Offer help with something they need (yardwork, childcare, etc.)
- Invite them over for a game night or tea party.
- Be friendly! Ask about their life, smile, etc.
Do have some other great ideas? Please, let us know in the comments!