Does God Want You to Be a Good Samaritan Today?

What matters are the needs God puts smack-dab in front of us, clamoring for attention.

Posted in , Feb 6, 2018

How to be a Good Samaritan

I was thinking the other day about the story of the Good Samaritan. It’s easy to tsk! tsk! the behavior of the two guys who didn't stop to help, but it occurs to me I sometimes do the same. I’m guilty of walking past plenty of opportunities God puts right in front of me. Most of the time it's not because I’m heartless, but because I’m just not that observant. Perhaps I am busy looking at the time or preoccupied with my own priorities. Sometimes I notice something that needs to be done but assume I’m not the one for the job because I already have too much to do. 

It's entirely possible the priest who passed by the beaten man had to get to services on time. That Levite may have been rushing home to take care of his sick wife. Either one could have been squeamish about blood, or freaked out because he didn’t know first aid, or thought it would be better to get an expert on the scene.

"If we can get Guideposts inspirational stories into the hands of people who may not have a devotional life, they can share the true-life stories of how God works in the world. The joy of Guideposts is their free, donated magazines - they allow me to help all the people who I am called on to serve."

-Rob Carter,  Nyack Hospital's Director of Pastoral Care

Those two passersby could have been cold and calculating men, or they could have been distracted or felt inadequate or didn’t really grasp the situation. We don't know what went on in their heads, because the passage doesn't say. 

And that, I think, is the point: what is going on in our heads is often irrelevant. What matters are the needs God puts smack-dab in front of us, clamoring for attention. Part of the reason for all that “do not worry about tomorrow” stuff is that worry over the future can obscure our vision of what God wants us to do today.  

Fortunately, God usually starts us out with small items on our to-do list: simple acts of kindness, tokens of generosity, moments of thoughtfulness. Let’s see if we can each find a few more of the opportunities the Lord has given us today to be of Christian service to others.

View Comments