A “neighbor” can be defined as someone living near us. But we can also think more generally about the neighbor, starting close to home with our family, then our community, and then our country. or society. Beyond that, the Lord’s Kingdom—His church and heaven—are our neighbor to be loved. And the Lord is our neighbor.
- Do you find it easier to help people in your community or people in far off places?
- What are some ways that we can serve or help our country?
“You shall love your neighbor as yourself” (Matthew 22:39). It is good to take care of ourselves. Sometimes we get too busy helping others to get enough rest or eat nutritious food.
- What are some activities that renew your energy?
- How do you prioritize when there are many opportunities to serve others?
Some resources for reflecting on how to help the neighbor:
- “Who Is My Neighbor?” by Kenneth Stroh (ages 7-14)
- “What Is Charity?” by Peter M Buss, Sr. (ages 18 and up)
- “A Rule That Shines as Gold” by Donald L Rose (ages 15 and up)
Helping children practice being a good neighbor
There are many ways children can be useful to others. It starts at home with being kind to siblings and helping to clean up after themselves. But you can also look outside of the family circle for ways to serve others.
- Reach out to people who are new to your community.
- Look for ways to help the community, church, and country as the neighbor.
- Let children help deliver a meal to a family with a new baby, help an elderly neighbor, or help a charitable organization.
It might also be fun to keep track of how many people help you and your family as you go through your day. Being useful to others goes both ways!
Activities for various ages:
- Paper Doll Chain (ages 4-10)
Make a paper doll chain and open it up to see all the neighbors!
- Prayer Hearts (ages 7-17)
We worship the Lord with loving actions, helping our neighbors.
- Hearts Snowflake Pattern (ages 7-17)
A pattern for folding and cutting out a paper snowflake of hearts.
- The Kindly Heart or Selfish Heart (ages 11-14)
Cut out all the pieces for the kindly heart and the selfish heart. Then try assembling them to see which one will make a true heart shape.
Looking for ways to help our neighbor can help lift our spirits. Someone once said that the best way to climb out of a sad state of mind is to help someone else. The Lord gives us this happy feeling when we are thinking about other people.
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