All of us are familiar with the story of The Good Samaritan. We know that we are to love our neighbor as ourselves and to be a loving neighbor.
Sometimes when we have a broad word or concept such as neighbor, it helps if we break that down. This prevents us from applying such a broad stroke of application that we simply whitewash what we should be about.
This list is not intended to be exhaustive. But when we paint a few of the finer details, the larger portrait becomes clearer. In the end we endeavor to be a loving neighbor to all whom we encounter.
In the account from Jesus and in the list below, these three characteristics serve as a guide. After all, it’s not difficult to love those who are most like us or who can do something for us. The test is whether we are able to genuinely love those who are different and offer us nothing.
* Somebody who isn’t getting love from those who should love them.
* Somebody who may be very different from yourself.
* Somebody who is hurting.
1. The unborn infant
2. The fatherless child or orphan
Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction.
-James 1:27 (ESV)
3. The elderly, especially the widow
See the verse above.
4. The stranger / immigrant
When a stranger sojourns with you in your land, you shall not do him wrong. You shall treat the stranger who sojourns with you as the native among you, and you shall love him as yourself, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God.
-Leviticus 19:33-34 (ESV)
5. The victim
See the story of the Good Samaritan.
6. The poor
But when you give a feast, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you.
-Luke 14:13-14 (ESV)
7. The hungry
For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink.
-Jesus in Matthew 25:35 (ESV)
8. The homeless
I was naked and you clothed me.
-Matthew 25:36 (ESV)
9. The prisoner
I was in prison and you came to me.
-Matthew 25:36 (ESV)
10. The sick
I was sick and you visited me.
-Matthew 25:36 (ESV