In Luke 10:25 – 37, we are given an account of a traveler who passed through the wilderness on his way to Jericho. While traveling, he was attacked by robbers, wounded and left to die. Helpless and seemingly hopeless, the traveler lay by the roadside, praying someone would come to his rescue. A priest stumbled upon the scene of violence, looked upon the man and continued on his journey; a Levite appeared, and inspected the man and walked away; then, a Samaritan met the injured man and nursed his wounds, lifted him up and slowly took him to an inn and cared for him during the night.
Like the man in the parable, there are many who are helpless and half dead around us. They have been robbed of their purpose, joy and peace. They go through the motions, and seem “normal” but if looked at with spiritual eyes, we would see that they are bleeding to death in desperate need of a Samaritan to offer them help. They are in need of a good Samaritan who will lead them to a Savior through kind-loving acts.
As you contemplate the ways in which you can be a good Samaritan, consider the following nuggets of wisdom:
1.) Wounded persons hurt differently; some moan and groan in pain, some bleed silently, and others fight even when they are down.
When we make a decision to help someone who has been hurt, we will not always receive a favorable response from the person we seek to help. Not every hurt person will passively and thankfully accept our attempts to help them. Some will kick and scream while we do and others will push us away and transfer their inner anger upon us. (When we think the wounded individual is fighting us, they are simply fighting their present consciousness that has been painted black by hurt. Do not take every attack personally.) No matter their response, hurt persons deserve our care.
There is someone in your office that is controlled by a negative, critical spirit. Their negativity saps your joy and seems to poison the very air you breathe. That person is in need of a dose of your compassion. Their critical spirit is a silent cry for help.
There is someone on your social media account who fills your feed with the grievances of their heart. That person’s habit of over sharing the bad and bitter is a cry for your help. Would you show that person compassion through a sending a positive note or encouraging word or setting a date with that person?
There is someone in your classroom that has a sulky demeanor. Would you give that person one reason to smile?
Your compassion can tame and restore the wildest, most broken of hearts.
2.) Our personal fears often detour us from helping others.
Many times it is not our selfishness or indifference that prevent us from helping others…but our fear. If we are honest, we will admit that there are times we refuse to help others because we are filled with fear of becoming “contaminated” by the pain of the broken or feel that if we pause on our journey to help a person in need, we too would become wearied, robbed and beaten.
We lose nothing by helping others. Never walk away from what the Spirit of God has led you to.
3.) God calls us to be more than onlookers and graceful observers.
We often judge and observe those who hurt from the comfort of our own lives while they continue to suffer. God wants us to look beyond the differences that exist between ourselves and the person in need and minister to every victim that is lying on the ground. We are to move from the sidelines or the sidewalks, get on the dusty path and start helping others. Whatever means we are instructed to use, let us step out in faith and use it.
God will provide the strength, wisdom and finances to minister according to His standard.
4.) Our societal status does not equip us for ministry – a willing, obedient heart does.
Both, the Levite and the Priest participated in countless holy acts in the past. Still, when it was time to put their faith and profession into action in a practical way, they walked away. The good Samaritan did not have the educational or societal status as the Levi or Priest, yet he willingly relieved the man in distress. All he had was a willingness to help. It does not matter what our educational background, social status, religious persuasion, ethnicity, age or sex is; God uses the heart that is willing to be His hands and feet on earth.
Perhaps what our organizations need are more God-fearing workers and leaders who will bear the burdens of each other. What our homes need are more forgiving souls who are willing to lift up each other in spite of the humanity of each other. What our churches need are more grace-conscious members who are willing to extend the grace afforded to them by Christ to others.
Perhaps, more than greater leadership, perfectly constructed policies and programs, we need more God fearing Samaritans in our world.
Lord, awaken our compassion and allow the Samaritan within to live today.