What does the Bible say about loving thy neighbor?
The world around us seems to be at great animosity with one another.
Physical abuse, crimes against humanity, and hatred seem to be coming at us from all sides.
It is during a time like this that it is important to remember what the Bible says about loving others.
Christian quotes about loving thy neighbor
“The more we love, the more love we have to offer. So it is with God’s love for us. It is inexhaustible.”
“Love is the doorway through which the human soul passes from selfishness to service.”
The Bible tells us to love our neighbors, and also to love our enemies; probably because they are generally the same people.Gilbert K. Chesterton
“Do not waste time bothering whether you love your neighbor; act as if you did.” – C.S. Lewis
“Love others so radically that they wonder why.”
“Don’t wait for other people to be loving, giving, compassionate, grateful, forgiving, generous, or friendly… lead the way!”
“Not everyone is your brother or sister in the faith, but everyone is your neighbor, and you must love your neighbor.” Timothy Keller
What does it mean to love your neighbor as you love yourself?
We as humans are naturally self-centered. We are this way because we are still dwelling in our sin riddled flesh. This however can make for a great application. Since we will instinctually take care of our own self – we eat when our body says that we are hungry, we avoid heartache and pain at all costs – we can see how we are to love others. We should instinctually reach out and care for others with the same fervor and attention that we give to ourselves. Identify ways that you can be intentional and caring with those around you.
1) Philippians 2:4 “Do not be interested only in your own life but be interested in the lives of others.”
2) Romans 15:1 “So those of us who have a strong faith must be patient with the weaknesses of those whose faith is not so strong. We must not think only of ourselves.”
3) Leviticus 19:18 “Never get revenge. Never hold a grudge against any of your people. Instead, love your neighbor as you love yourself. I am the Lord.”
4) Luke 10:27 “And he answered, ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.”
5) Romans 13:8 “owe nothing to anyone except to love one another; for he who love his neighbor has fulfilled the law.”
6) Matthew 7:12 “so whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, fo this is the Law and the prophets.”
7) Galatians 6:10 “As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.”
Who is my neighbor according to the Bible?
Our neighbor is not just the people who live right next to us. Our neighbor is who we encounter. Our neighbor is really anyone we come across, regardless of where they are from or call home.
8) Deuteronomy 15:11 “There will always be poor people in the land. Therefore I command you to be openhanded toward your fellow Israelites who are poor and needy in your land.”
9) Colossians 3:23-24 “Work hard and cheerfully at all you do, just as though you were working for the Lord and not merely for your masters, 24 remembering that it is the Lord Christ who is going to pay you, giving you your full portion of all he owns. He is the one you are really working for.”
10) Matthew 28:18-20 “Then Jesus came to them and said, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
11) Romans 15:2 “let each of us please his neighbor for his good, to build him up.”
God’s love compels us to love our neighbors
We are commanded to love others. This is not a call to allow other people to walk all over us. Nor is this a call to ignore the other Biblical commands such as speaking the truth in love. Even if it is a truth that they would rather not hear, we are to speak it gently and out of love.
Loving others due to God’s love is a realization that God loves us so completely and fiercely that we are to show others that same love. God loves us with a jealous love – He will not allow anything in our life that will hinder our relationship with Him. So should our love drive others to Christ.
12) Ephesians 2:10 “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”
13) Hebrews 6:10 “For God is not unjust so as to forget your work and the love which you have shown toward His name, in having ministered and in still ministering to the saints.”
14) 1 Corinthians 15:58 “My dear brothers and sisters, stay firmly planted—be unshakable—do many good works in the name of God, and know that all your labor is not for nothing when it is for God.”
15) 1 John 3:18 “Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth.”
16) John 3:16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”
Sharing the gospel with our neighbors
We are commanded to share the gospel with others. Jesus told us to in the Great Commission. We are to share the gospel with our neighbors – the people in our immediate vicinity, as well as in the other side of the world.
We proclaim Christ’s Gospel truth, that He alone is the only way to God and that we must repent and place our faith in Him. This is how we truly love others.
17) Hebrews 13:16 “Don’t neglect to do what is good and to share, for God is
pleased with such sacrifices.”
18) 2 Corinthians 2:14 “But thanks be to God, who always leads us as captives in Christ’s triumphal procession and uses us to spread the aroma of the knowledge of him everywhere.”
19) Romans 1:9 “God knows how often I pray for you. Day and night I bring you and your needs in prayer to God, whom I serve with all my heart by spreading the Good News about his Son.”
Serving and putting your neighbor first
One way that we can share the love of Christ with others is by serving them. When we serve others it is a tangible way of showing that we are loving others as we love ourselves, and that we are putting them first.
We are all broken and needy. We all need a Savior. But we also all have physical needs and will need a helping hand now and then. By ministering to these physical needs, we show compassion in a very believable way.
20) Galatians 5:13-14 “You my brothers and sisters, we were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge in the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love. For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.”
21) 1 Peter 4:11 “Whoever speaks, is to do so as one who is speaking the utterances of God; whoever serves is to do so as one who is serving by the strength which God supplies; so that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belongs the glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.”
22) Ephesians 6:7 “Rendering service with a good will as to the Lord and not to man.”
23) Titus 2:7-8 “In everything set them an example by doing what is good. In your teaching show integrity, seriousness 8 and soundness of speech that cannot be condemned, so that those who oppose you may be ashamed because they have nothing bad to say about us.”
24) Luke 6:38 “Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”
25) Proverbs 19:17 “Whoever is generous to the poor lends to the Lord, and he will repay him for his deed.”
How to love your neighbor?
Love is compassionate and kind
Serving is a way of showing compassion. Love is compassion. Love is Kindness. You cannot love someone if you refuse to bestow compassion. You cannot love someone if you refuse to be kind. A lack of compassion and being unkind are both at their core self-centered, which is unloving.
26) Matthew 5:16 “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works an glorify your Father in heaven.”
27) 2 Corinthians 1:4 “who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.”
Live generously towards others
Another way of loving others is to live generously. This is another way of being kind and compassionate. It is also another way of putting others before ourselves. We need to care generously, give generously, and love generously. For God is abundantly generous to us.
28) Matthew 6:2 “When you give to the poor, do not boast about it, announcing your donations with blaring trumpets as the play actors do. DO not brazenly give your charity in the synagogues and on the streets; indeed, do not give at all if you are giving because you want to be praised by your neighbors. Those people who give in order to reap praise have already received their reward.”
29) Galatians 6:2 “Carry each others burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.”
30) James 2:14-17 “What good is it, dear brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but don’t show it by your actions? Can that kind of faith save anyone? 15 Suppose you see a brother or sister who has no food or clothing, 16 and you say, “Good-bye and have a good day; stay warm and eat well”—but then you don’t give that person any food or clothing. What good does that do? 17 So you see, faith by itself isn’t enough. Unless it produces good deeds, it is dead and useless.”
31) Ephesians 4:28 “If you are a thief, quit stealing. Instead, use your hands for good hard work, and then give generously to others in need.”
32) 1 John 3:17 “But whoever has this world’s goods, and sees his brother in need, and shuts up his heart from him, how does the love of God abide in him?”
33) Acts 20:35 “In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.”
Loving your neighbors means forgiving them
One of the most difficult ways that we can love others is to forgive them. When someone comes to us and requests forgiveness, we are commanded to grant it to them. This is because God always grants forgiveness when someone is repentant. It is how He shows His mercy and love towards us – and so we should reflect His mercy and love towards others. Forgiveness does not mean that we should be around someone who seeks to harm us or is unrepentant.
34) Ephesians 4:32 “Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.”
Loving our neighbors by praying for them
One way that we can grow in our love for others is to pray for them. Ask God to burden our hearts for them, and to help us love others the way that He loves us. By praying for people, we began to see them like God sees them – and our hearts become soft towards them. I encourage you to be intentional. Ask those around you how you can pray for them.
35) Romans 12:1–2 “Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. 2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”
36) Romans 5:6-7 “For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. 7 For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die.”
37) 1 Timothy 2:1 “I urge you, first of all, to pray for all people. Ask God to help them; intercede on their behalf, and give thanks for them.”
38) 2 Corinthians 1:11 “You also must help us by prayer, so that many will give thanks on our behalf for the blessing granted us through the prayers of many.”
39) 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 “Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
40) Philippians 1:18-21 “Yes, and I will rejoice, for I know that through your prayers and the help of the Spirit of Jesus Christ this will turn out for my deliverance, as it is my eager expectation and hope that I will not be at all ashamed, but that with full courage now as always Christ will be honored in my body, whether by life or by death. For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.”
41) James 5:16 “So confess your offenses to one another and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous person is very powerful.”
42) Acts 1:14 “They all joined together constantly in prayer, along with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brothers.”
43) 2 Corinthians 1:11 “Join us in this work. Lend us a hand through prayer so that many will give thanks for the gift that comes to us when God answers the prayers of so many.”
44) Romans 12:12 “Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.”
45) Philippians 1:19 “for I know that this will turn out for my deliverance through your prayers and the provision of the Spirit of Jesus Christ.”
Loving our enemies
We are also told to love our enemies. This means we are to view them as God views them – sinners in desperate need of a Savior, sinners who need to hear the Gospel, sinners who were as we once were: lost. We don’t have to let our enemies walk all over us, and we are allowed to protect ourselves and our family. We are still commanded to speak the truth in love, even to our enemies.
Ask the Lord, how can you love someone better who you might not get along with. Maybe loving them is praying for them. Maybe it’s seeking to understand them. Maybe it’s seeking to find something to love about them. If possible, let’s fight to connect and love even those who are hard to love at times.
46) Colossians 3:14 “Most of all, let love guide your life, for then the whole church will stay together in perfect harmony.”
47) Mark 10:45 “For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.”
48) John 13:12-14 “After washing their feet, he put on his robe again and sat down and asked, “Do you understand what I was doing? 13 You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and you are right, because that’s what I am. 14 And since I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you ought to wash each other’s feet.”
49) Luke 6:27-28 “But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.
50) Matthew 5:44 “But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.”
Loving others can often be a very difficult thing. We have to love other sinners. We have to love people who will at some point probably hurt us. Loving others is not something that we can do in our own power – it is only through the power of Christ that we are able to love others the way that He does.