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July 11 is #CheerUpTheLonelyDay. There are so many ways to make those in your community feel seen and valued. Everyone experiences a sense of loneliness or isolation in different seasons of life. We don’t always know what the people around us are going through.

That's why loving your neighbor in little ways is important—but sometimes it's hard to know where to start. Jesus’ actions are a perfect example of how we can love our neighbors well. 

Be a listening ear!

God has a lot to say about having good listening skills. In Luke 8:18, God commands us to listen. And in James 1:19, God urges us to be quick to listen to others. Not only does God tell us to listen, he shows us how to through Jesus. Jesus listened intently to his people, like the women at the well and his disciples, as an act of love for them.

Like Jesus, we also can show love by intentionally listening to people. Be quick to listen and give your attention to your neighbor. Listening, asking good questions, and being engaged are acts of love. Having someone listen might just be what your neighbor needed today.

Who do you feel needs to be heard today? Can you spare some time and show love through listening?

Share a meal!

Jesus loved sharing a meal with his people. He was quick to welcome family, friends, and even strangers to join in on the meal. Jesus knew the impact the invitation of a meal could have. The tax collector, the uninvited guest, the disciples, and even the 5,000 people were all impacted by Jesus inviting and serving them with a great amount of love. 

Sharing a meal is a perfect idea to meet someone in their loneliness and build community. Partaking in a meal together, as Jesus has shown us, makes anyone feel valued and wanted. 

Who in your community might benefit from a shared meal? Could you take time to serve them through a meal?

Take the extra minute!

Jesus never hesitated to take the extra time to listen and speak to his people, so why should you? Jesus always stopped on his walk to speak to those who were deemed unworthy. Jesus took extra time to ensure the just treatment of his people. In Hebrews 13:16, God reminds us to be generous with our time. 

Don’t be in a rush to pull out of your driveway, to bring the groceries in, to finish your walk. Jesus stopped and gave of his time. God calls us to be generous with our time. Taking the extra minute shows your neighbor they aren’t alone. You are there for them and you care.

How can you be generous with your time today? Who could you take a little more time and have a conversation with in your community?

#CheerUpTheLonelyDay reminds us that we don't know what our neighbor may be going through. Jesus was always quick to show love to his people. Use today and everyday and make the extra effort to listen, serve and be generous towards your neighbor. You never know, that act of love could be just what they need.

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