How to Care for your Neighbors

We are currently in uncharted waters, navigating our way through this nationwide pandemic of the coronavirus. While our government officials and medical personnel work on the front lines of stopping the spread of the virus, we are left to figure out how exactly to press forward during this “new normal.” While we hope this “new normal” is short-lived, there are some steps we can take to be responsible citizens, as well as God honoring Christians during this time. 

In Mark 31 we read:

28 One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating. Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked him, “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?”29 “The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.  30 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ 31 The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.”

We want to be a neighbor-loving church. Here are some practical tips for loving your neighbor well amidst this troubling time.

Practice Consistent and Excellent Hygiene

Washing your hands for 20 seconds with soap and warm water several times a day is a highly effective means to kill germs. This alone is a great front-line defense to stopping the spread of this virus and others. Do your best to keep your hands away from your face with unwashed hands. Sanitize, sanitize, sanitize. Wipe down countertops, door knobs, remotes, and any other household items that are being touched often.  

 If you are experiencing any symptoms, or are around someone who has, stay away. 

Drink lots of water, avoid strenuous activity, and be patient. Of course, this is always easier said than done, but use your best judgement when deciding your course of action. 

Introduce Yourself to your neighbors/Exchange Numbers

Loving your neighbors requires intentional effort. Introducing yourself is a great way to start the lines of communication. Let the people around you know you are available and willing to help with any needs they may have. Ask them how you can serve them during this time. You don’t know the situations your neighbors are in, and you don’t know how much good you can do for a neighbor by simply being available to them. This is not only a great way to love your neighbor now, but it can also lead to meaningful relationships and Gospel conversations. 

 If you know someone who lives alone, ask them if they want you to check in on them

We often cannot control our circumstances. The reality is that our community will have people who are living alone. They may not need for you to check in on them, but it cannot hurt to ask. If they have family, grandkids, or other neighbors checking in on them consistently, great! If not, it’s an easy way to show God’s love to people in need. 

 If you are particularly good with technology, offer to help your neighbors

Technology is a wonderful thing, so long as people know how to use it properly. Offer to help your neighbor order groceries online, deal with online pharmacy orders, purchase something off of amazon, or even set up a Netflix account. While some of these online conveniences may be trivial, helping your neighbors stay calm in the midst of a panicked world can be just as important to the stopping of the spread of the virus itself.  

 Finally, serve first. 

As a church and as Christians our default setting should be to serve first. Be generous with your time, money, and supplies. If someone is short a roll of toilet paper, be the first to spare one for them. If someone needs some groceries, offer to make the trip for them. Be a light in the darkness, and be hope in a time of uncertainty. Showing Christ can be as simple as a warm smile, a servant’s heart, and even giving up a roll of toilet paper. 

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