rarity. Most of us have built up protective walls around our hearts and desensitized ourselves so much that we hardly feel anything for anyone at anytime anymore - except, of course, ourselves.
I actually had someone say to me once, "Forget it. If a person in need isn't in my family or direct circle of friends, they are on their own OR they are their own family's problem to deal with."
Is it that difficult to just be kind? To care? To pray for one another? To help each other? Ask yourself: What is stopping us from sharing and giving of ourselves? What is preventing us from being considerate to one another?
It is easy to talk about "brotherly love" in our Christian circles, but how does that translate into our real lives?
Christian love is personal and active. We are called to love our neighbors... ALL neighbors as ourselves. This is what Jesus had in mind in the Parable of the Good Samaritan. Read it in Luke 10:25-37. Here was a man in distress who had been robbed by thieves and left for dead. When help appeared to be on it's way from those you'd most expect to aid this poor man - they did nothing. Nothing! Instead, a Samaritan man (an outsider) came to his aid out of mere sympathy.
When I think of this, I'm reminded of something I read once... "Christ came as a physician out of the sweetness of His nature; He is like the good Samaritan, who had compassion on the wounded man. A physician may come to the patient only for gain; not so roach to help the patient as to help himself: but Christ came purely out of sympathy."
I have to ask... have we lost our sympathy? When we see someone who needs help - do we just walk on by like the Jews did to the man in trouble? Or are we like that merciful Samaritan who bandaged the troubled man's wounds, brought him to a safe place, and paid for him to be restored and healed.
"The parable is a beautiful explanation of the law of loving our neighbour as ourselves, without regard to nation, party, or any other distinction. It also sets forth the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward sinful, miserable men. We were like this poor, distressed traveller. Satan, our enemy, has robbed us, and wounded us: such is the mischief sin has done us. The blessed Jesus had compassion on us. The believer considers that Jesus loved him, and gave his life for him, when an enemy and a rebel; and having shown him mercy, he bids him go and do likewise. It is the duty of us all , in our places, and according to our ability, to succour, help, and relieve all that are in distress and necessity." (Matthew Henry)
God's expectations of us are quite clear. We are to love Him, and we are to love our neighbor.
Who is our neighbor? Anyone who needs our help... anyone who is in distress. It is not a matter of geography, but opportunity. Really, the important question is not, "Who is my neighbor?" but rather, "To whom can I be a neighbor?"
As Christian women, it should be unacceptable to us that there is no longer room for indulgent helpfulness. We must reprogram how we think and teach those around us how Jesus loves with our own actions. We must love one another... love our neighbors. In fact, I think if people followed God's law to love others the same way we love ourselves, the world would probably not require any other laws.
"God has established a principle of universal dependence through every part of His intelligent creation. As creatures we have a twofold dependence - a dependence upon God, and upon our fellows.... Let me observe, that the universal and undistinguishing philanthropy, so affectingly urged in the parable of our Lord before us, must be fostered and matured by every consideration we can pay to the nature of our religion." (R. Watson)
Friends, God does not not wish for kindness to be limited to a "random act".... rather, His love, and the kindness it breeds, should be a regularity in our daily walk. In all things, love should always be our #1 goal.
So, ask yourself today and everyday, "To whom can I be a neighbor?" Don't walk on by if you see someone in distress. Learn to love others and trust God to show you how to do this best in each circumstance. That is what Jesus would do and what we are called to do as His followers.
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