‘Which of these three do you think was a neighbor…?’
…’The one who had mercy on him.’
Jesus told him, ‘Go and do likewise.’
Luke 10:36-37 (NIV)
It is shameful that I drive on passed so many opportunities to live out compassion and generosity, missed opportunities to live out God’s purpose for me.
I know where I can find the story of The Good Samaritan. I know about His compassion. I know about His generosity. I have been touched by Sunday messages about it at church. I have learned about it from Christian books. I have been inspired from it during discussions in Christian growth groups.
Now I ask myself. Have I experienced transformation? Do I live out compassion? Do I live out generosity?
God wants me to learn about compassion and generosity, yes. I have learned what compassion and generosity are, yes. Do I live it? Do I do God’s will?
What God wants from me, from each of us, is to spread His grace through our actions. God wants more than knowledge and understanding. God wants more than a willing heart. God wants transformation.
How is this change within to happen? How do I go from knowledge to action? How do I express God’s grace through acts of compassion and generosity? If we listen to scripture, we know how this transformation is to happen…
- God wants me to understand that compassion and generosity are my responsibility.
Learn to do good.
Help the oppressed.
Defend the cause of orphans.
Fight for the rights of widows.
-Isaiah 1:17 (NLT)
It is up to me to do good. I must be the wave of action. I must be the defender of the overburdened. I must look to no one else. God’s grace begins with me. It is my responsibility.
- God wants me to practice compassion and generosity with whoever intersects my life right now.
Do not withhold good from those who deserve it
when it’s in your power to help them.
If you can help your neighbor now, don’t say,
‘Come back tomorrow, and then I’ll help you.’
-Proverbs 3:27-28 (NLT)
The world is filled with needs. Everywhere I look there is injustice and poverty. There is so much pain, so much hurt. I can’t possibly cure it all. If I tray to help everyone, I will be unable to help anyone. So, where do I begin to practice generosity? How do I begin to practice compassion? Who do I chose to help? Who will be left out?
God’s call is simple. I must begin with those that come into my life right now. I cannot be frozen from action that will help those that cross my path because I won’t be able to help those that I don’t even know about. I can not worry about who may need my help in the future. I must help those that are in front of me, right now.
- God wants me to give up convenience for sacrifice.
Honor the Lord with your wealth
and with the best part of everything you produce.
-Proverbs 6:9 (NLT)
The $5 dollars (and sometimes just $1) in my wallet are not even the best part of my paycheck, yet I hold on to them because I “need” them. Do I really “need” it or is it convenience to have it? Can I do without 5 bucks? At some point what I perceive as a need will be exposed as a convenience. Can I stray away from convenience to make a sacrifice?
To be a Christ follower is to be transformed. It means action. It means we don’t just know and understand the story of ‘The Good Samaritan’. We are ‘The Good Samaritan’. We live it.