Tim’s sermon this past Sunday has really gotten me to thinking. He preached on the Good Samaritan from the book of Luke. He was talking about how we pass people by without even thinking about what their needs may be. Something we probably all do to some extent.
While I was reading that scripture, it actually brought something else to the forefront of my mind; in the scripture it was talking about basically a stranger on the road and everyone was passing by. But what about when we do that to people we already know. I think it’s something we have probably all done if we think about it. I’m not proud of it, but I know I’ve done it. You see someone coming down the aisle toward you in the store that you really don’t want to see. So rather than stop and say hello and ask them how things are going, we quickly turn and begin to take another path. Maybe they are someone who is not the greatest friend, or someone who has said something unkind to us or about us. It could be any number of reasons. But the bottom line is its just excuses. Just like its just excuses even when they are strangers and as Tim said, “We walk right past them and leave them in the ditch.”
It’s bad enough when we walk past a stranger who truly might need some help or just a smile from someone to brighten their otherwise dismal day. But when we walk passed someone we know or turn and take another direction rather than communicate the compassion of Christ to them that is just as bad.
I don’t really know if either one is any worse than the other. What I do know is that neither one are pleasing to God. Jesus showed compassion to every person he ever came in contact with. How are we going to be Jesus with skin on to the world, if we won’t even look the world in the eye? Sometimes just having eye contact with someone can change the focus of their day. Imagine what a smile could do or even a compassionate spoken word. I believe that God puts people in our paths for a reason. How many lives would be changed if we continued on the path that God is leading us down rather than taking a detour when we see something coming up ahead that might not be exactly where we thought we needed to go? My prayer is that we don’t miss those opportunities by being too focused on ourselves to notice that there are people lying in the ditch just waiting for someone to notice them. My prayer is that we will bold enough to take the paths that God is leading us on.
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