5 Biblical Ways to Love Your Neighbor

God’s Word guides us in loving others as we love ourselves

Have you ever heard someone say, “The Bible is just a book of rules”?

There are rules about what to wear, what to eat, what to do with your money, and how to live. For new Bible readers who ignore the naysayers and decide to see what God says for themselves, their resolve often fizzles out somewhere in the book of Leviticus.

It’s true, of course, that the Bible contains many rules. But it’s also true that the entirety of God’s law and commandments can be summarized in just two rules: love God, and love others. That’s far fewer rules than most parents have for their children!

If you’re wondering whether this is true, you don’t need to look any further than Jesus’s conversation with a religious leader to find out:

A teacher of the Law was there who heard the discussion. He saw that Jesus had given the Sadducees a good answer, so he came to him with a question: “Which commandment is the most important of all?”

Jesus replied, “The most important one is this: ‘Listen, Israel! The Lord our God is the only Lord. Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ The second most important commandment is this: ‘Love your neighbor as you love yourself.’ There is no other commandment more important than these two.”

Mark 12:28-31 GNT

The Bible teaches us that all Scripture is inspired by God and useful for our lives—including books like Leviticus. So, Jesus is not saying that the rest of God’s commandments are expendable. Instead, he’s pointing us toward the heart behind the Bible’s rules.

5 Ways to Love Your Neighbor

The Bible teaches that people will know we are Christians by our love. By following Jesus’s commandment to love God and each other, we have an opportunity to share the hope of the gospel with those around us. We can find specific inspiration for ways to love our neighbors in God’s commandments to us throughout Scripture.

Here are five biblical ways you can love your neighbor today.

Show forgiveness and love to all people, even those who have hurt you.

“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your friends, hate your enemies.’ But now I tell you: love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.”

Matthew 5:43-44 GNT

Offer support to a friend who is going through a difficult time.

Help carry one another’s burdens, and in this way you will obey the law of Christ.

Galatians 6:2 GNT

Look for new ways to advocate for people who are forgotten, marginalized, or oppressed.

“See that justice is done—help those who are oppressed, give orphans their rights, and defend widows.”

Isaiah 1:17b GNT

Show generosity and hospitality to a new person or family.

Share your belongings with your needy fellow Christians, and open your homes to strangers.

Romans 12:13 GNT

Pray faithfully with and for the people God has put in your life.

Pray at all times.

1 Thessalonians 5:17 GNT

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Elisabeth Trefsgar
Elisabeth Trefsgar

Elisabeth Trefsgar is a content specialist for American Bible Society. She has made a home in New Jersey and Sofia, Bulgaria, and is always on the lookout for the next adventure. She is passionate about seeing communities around the world flourish through the power of God's Word and the efforts of the local church. When she isn't writing, you can find her reading good stories, photographing local sights, and spending time with friends.

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