Saturday, March 4, 2017

Samaritan Syndrome

I think people for the most part just want to know you care. They want to know that they are not walking alone. That in the midst of their struggles they are not going to drown because someone will be there to pick them up again. And speaking to my fellow Christ followers, we are failing miserably. We have such an influence and a power to make the smallest differences in someone’s life, but like a “bad Samaritan” we choose to walk on by, too busy and too self involved to see a hurting soul. We don’t have time to get involved. We don’t have the energy to give a full effort. We don’t have the words to say.
You remember the story—Jesus replied: “A Jewish man was traveling from Jerusalem down to Jericho, and he was attacked by bandits. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him up, and left him half dead beside the road” (Luke 10:30).
Does it sound familiar? The homeless man was sleeping under a bridge. The worn out single mother was trying to find enough money to buy groceries for her kids. The discouraged co-worker was contemplating his own life.
The world strips us, beats us down and leaves us half dead along the side of the road. It lies to us and offers us promises it cannot keep. It keeps us self-centered and self-focused; for what?
After two men pass the man on the street and do nothing to help, verse 33 states, “Then a Samaritan came along, and when he saw the man, he felt compassion for him” (Luke 10:33).
I’ve been struggling lately. I feel like I’m in a place where only God can move. I am stuck waiting on Him to make the move, to call the shot, to fill in the puzzle. My theme song rightly so has been Waiting Here for You:
If faith can move the mountains
Let the mountains move
We come with expectation
Waiting here for You
I am not sure what God is doing and why He is waiting so long to do it, but God knows and He sees me. The people passed by this week sure enough with opportunities to encourage and didn’t. But then the other night, I reached into my box at work and pulled out an envelope that had been pushed towards the back. I opened it and to my surprise found a card from a co-worker that had left and moved two weeks before. On the exact night I needed it the most; a handful of words lifted my spirits. Talk about God’s timing. The card would have had to of been in there for days and I happened to notice it that night. It was evidence of Good Samaritan Syndrome.
Please hear me in this one when I say, people need you more than they let on. You have the privilege and the power to make or break someone’s day. Stop letting opportunities pass and start looking for ways to be the difference maker. Employers, Parents, Kids, Friends, Co-workers …there are people in your life for a reason. God has specifically grouped them in your harvest field. Cultivate the garden. Take the time to ask them personal questions, leave them a note of encouragement, thank them and pray for them by name. Don’t give up after one attempt. Push your way in until they trust you enough to be real. Answer calls, reply to texts, and check on them. That difficult co-worker, your child’s confidence, your parents hard day, your friends world crashing down, that lady behind the desk, that neighbor you hardly know, may be needing something that only you can give. It’s been said a lot, but my brother reminded me of it this week in his sermon, “We are plan A. There is no plan B.”
Jesus commanded it, “Love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your strength, and all your mind.’ And, Love your neighbor as yourself” (Luke 10:27). It is in our hands. Jesus calls us to love not half heartedly, but all the way. Are you in?
-Only Hope—Live justly, Love Mercy, Walk Humbly

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