The Bad Samaritan

I was standing there in the parking lot with my truck hood up and jumper cables in my hands. My car battery was dead. To anyone willing to take a moment to notice, I needed a bit of help. Just then a truck pulled up a few spots back and a guy about my age stepped out. I kindly asked the gentlemen if he would be able to help me out. He said, “Let me just go in and get my food first.” It was an odd response, but I rationalized that perhaps this guy was a driver for GrubHub or some other food delivery service and speed was of the essence. So, I proceeded to wait for about 10-15 minutes for the guy to get his food.

Finally, when he came out of the restaurant, he said, “Oh, no one has helped you out yet?” This was a particularly odd question since I was specifically waiting on this guy who said he would help. I told him I still needed help. So, he continued over to his truck. I began thinking about where his car battery might be and if my jumper cables would be long enough, etc. The man fired up his truck and just drove away.

Thankfully, I think this level of blatant discourtesy is rare, but perhaps it’s not as rare as it once was. Some 50 years ago, people seemed more willing to stop and help a stranger. Perhaps in our world of social media and entertainment, we have been exposed to some of the worst parts of society and it has shied people away from helping others.

With our culture trending the way it is, Christians have an especially good time to let our light shine (Mathew 5:14-16). We have an opportunity to stop and help people when many others won’t. Jesus regularly praised the idea of helping others and responding with kindness. Go the second mile (Matthew 5:41). Turn the other cheek (Matthew 5:39). And, unlike my truck friend, Jesus calls on us to be like the “Good Samaritan” and help those who are in need (Luke 10:25-37).

Paul summed up this idea well in Galatians 6:10: “So then, while we have opportunity, let’s do good to all people, and especially to those who are of the household of the faith.”

The opportunities are there if we will look for them. The impact for good can be immeasurable. But it’s going to take a person who is willing to help someone else. If this should be found anywhere, it should be found in Christians.

Who will you help this week?

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