What if loving our neighbors looks different than we expect?

The Bible encourages us to love our neighbors as ourselves. What if applying that truth looks different than we expect? What if loving our neighbors includes tough love, just as having healthy boundaries is part of loving ourselves and those around us?

Sometimes we blow it. We all need God’s grace. Thankfully, His grace and love for us (and our neighbors) abounds.

I seek to tell myself the truth, so being honest with others is important too. Healthy communication requires both parties being willing. When I feel weary of poor communication and being treated in ways that don’t feel okay to me, I try to look to the LORD for help. Certainly, being human, I might do or say something that doesn’t help, that doesn’t build up others. When that happens, I need to apologize. Last night I had that opportunity. I did apologize, but I’m not sure the other party heard me over the equipment. So I’ll do it again later, when God enables me to do so. Even though I could hold onto my own hurts and frustration….that’s not God’s way. So I’ll ask Him to help us relate to those nearby in ways that honor Him.

I’ve been choosing to worship as I water outside. I’ve been praying blessing over my neighbors, even them. Especially them. Because God loves each person infinitely more than I could grasp.

Love is patient. Love is kind. Love keeps no record of wrongs. (That one is hard for some of us, and maybe for women especially.)

Sometimes, in self-preservation mode, I think women tend to hold onto hurts. We nurse them. We decorate our hearts with those hurts so we’ll remember not to let others have another chance to hurt us again.

But that’s not what we’re called to do. We are called to love.

Faith, hope and love.

The greatest of these is love.

Love never fails.

2 Replies to “What if loving our neighbors looks different than we expect?”

  1. Thanks for sharing your life and God’s perspective. Your balance between healthy boundaries and forgiveness inspires me.

    I appreciate the reminder to pray for neighbors while working in the yard.

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  2. Thank you! You are an encouragement in my life. I appreciate you very much. I once read a wonderful book about a prayer retreat centre in Wales. They simply prayed blessings over everyone and allowed the Holy Spirit to do the rest. God moved powerfully. So I am trying to pray for others while I do yard work, and also to sing worship quietly to the LORD. This way, my heart and focus is on the LORD, not on other things.

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