Love Thy Neighbor

August 20, 2012 under Syllabus 2012-2013


Who really is your neighbor? Is it just those that live near you, those that you know or is it other people? In today’s world, we seem to be isolated and distant, often times with little social interaction, by using Facebook, Twitter etc, do we have time to even know anybody. With our busy schedules of children, activities and interests, do we even have time or want to have time to know, much less love our neighbor.


Life does come at us fast. Just think of all that you did yesterday and all that is on the schedule for today. It seems like life will never slow down, we don’t seem to even have enough time for our children and wives much less loving our neighbor. How can we show appreciation for those around us that affect our lives, if we barely know them? Think about people that come in and out of our lives, that impact us, in a not so positive way; the neighbor next door that doesn’t take care of his property, the co-worker that only seems to want to complain about everything, the pushy women with the cart and three children in Kroger, who just wants to get her list accomplished, regardless of the busyness of the store.

Ever have a disagreement with a coach, somebody at one of your children’s sporting events, or a co-worker. Have you set a good example for your children about forgiveness and forgetting, or have you set the example of the traditional feud?

The ultimate question is how do we teach our children what loving our neighbor is, and the importance of loving our neighbor by how we deal with those in our lives.

Bible Readings

1. Matthew 22:36-40

“Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.”

2. 1 John 4:20-21

If anyone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen. And this commandment we have from him: whoever loves God must also love his brother.

Catechism Readings

1. Paragraphs 2208

The family should live in such a way that its members learn to care and take responsibility for the young, the old, the sick, the handicapped, and the poor. There are many families who are at times incapable of providing this help. It devolves then on other persons, other families, and, in a subsidiary way, society to provide for their needs: “Religion that is pure and undefiled before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction and to keep oneself unstained from the world.”12

Small Group Questions

  1. Who are your neighbors, and do you actually talk or have social interaction with them.
  2. When was the last time you experienced a random act of kindness and how did that make you feel?
  3. Have you ever performed a random act of kindness and what was the reaction of the recipient of this act?
  4. Do you have an example of when you could have done a better job of loving your neighbor?
  5. Do you have a good example of loving your neighbor?


  1. Do you have a neighbor or acquaintance who you avoid at all costs? Can you put yourself in their shoes and try to communicate, just a little?
  2. How can you change the way you show love for your neighbor? How can you set that example for your children?
  3. Start small and work your way up. Can you make a commitment to grant that random act of kindness to someone this week?


Dan Lape and Jack Gauche

Included Resources

1. Love Your Neighbor As Yourself

Eight times in the Bible we are told to love our neighbor — one of the Bible’s most repeated commands.

Loving your neighbor is the opposite of selfishness — the common human practice. Acting in divine love demonstrates that unselfishness is possible for a human — showing a reality that cannot be ignored or denied.

Whether they appreciate you, or respond to your love, Jesus’s command is still valid: You must show love to your neighbor in a practical way.

Who Is A Neighbor?

When Jesus was asked by someone who his neighbor was (Luke 10:29), Jesus responded by telling the story of the Good Samaritan — who helped a stranger in need by the roadside. Then, in verse 37, Jesus told the man to go and do like the Good Samaritan.

A neighbor is someone who is near-by wherever you are.

2. Love Thy Neighbor – What’s the Origin of this Phrase?

“Love thy neighbor” is a term that’s become almost clichéd over the years. But where did it originate, and what does it really mean? In a time when neighbors, at least in America, are people we rarely see (thanks to garage door openers and busy lives), or are thought of as nuisances with barking dogs and noisy children, how can we possibly love our

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