Am I Supposed to Help “Those” People?
Opportunities abound for providing assistance to the poor, physically or mentally challenged, and those who are in difficult situations in their lives. Historically, America has been one of the most generous nations to care for their own indigent as well as sending billions and billions of dollars and an army of volunteers and professionals around the world to offer various kinds of compassionate care and feeding.
The reason that America has been one of the most generous nations is because of our heritage. Many of our citizens came from great difficulties in other countries to be citizens here. They know what it is to suffer and need help. Certainly, the foundation of our desire to do what we can for others comes from the founding of our country on Judeo-Christian principles. Even a person with limited knowledge of the Christian faith knows that the Bible teaches us to love our God fully and love our neighbor as we do ourselves. In fact, the world uses the Parable of Jesus to describe on who stops to help another.
“A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he was attacked by robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. 31 A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. 32 So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. 33 But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. 34 He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, brought him to an inn and took care of him. 35 The next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper. ‘Look after him,’ he said, ‘and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.’
36 “Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?”
37 The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.”
Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise. (Luke10:30-37).
When Jesus saw broken humanity, His heart was moved with compassion. And in this story, the Samaritan saw this broken traveler through the eyes of Jesus and had compassion on him…. divine, extravagant compassion for the broken, hurting man. Someone has written…
- The Samaritan fixed his eyes on the traveler when he looked on him with concern
- He gave his heart to the traveler when he felt true compassion for him.
- He gave his beast to the traveler when he felt true compassion for him.
- He gave his feet to the traveler when he let him ride, willingly walking beside his own animal.
- He gave his hands to the traveler when he bound up his wounds.
- He gave his time to the traveler when he postponed his own schedule to stay with him that first critical night.
- Finally, he gave his money to the traveler when he paid for his stay and care in the inn.
It is practicing that spirit of compassion and giving that we live in obedience to our LORD. Truly, Christmas is about giving and caring. We give to our friends and family. We give to food drives, coat drives, and to churches and charities that provide assistance to single moms, hurting children, broken people, and families in distress.
Jesus reminded us, “When you have done it unto one of the least of these, you have done it unto Me.” So, when the LORD brings a person or opportunity in your life that you know you could help, just remember your gift aids that individual and is pleasing to our LORD.