Pride, time, and money are things that are a struggle for most people. We think our problems and our priorities are the most important issues in the world. What bothers us, should bother others. When others don’t share our priorities, we tend to become annoyed with them. At the very same time, our own busyness can cause us to completely ignore the priorities of those around us.
I can remember watching a movie growing up called Multiplicity, starring Michael Keaton and Andie MacDowell. With the help of a scientist, Doug figures out a way to clone himself, thus multiplying himself so he can get all the things expected of him done. In the movie he is under the assumption that each of these copies of himself will share the same priorities that he shares, but he soon finds out that they do not. In the end, all the copies ended up with other priorities and he ended up still having conflict with himself. It is a silly movie, but the main idea is brought home that none of us share the same set of priorities.
This is not a new concept. It has been around forever. We even see it with people who lived back during the bible times as we see in the following passage found in Luke:
Luke 10:30-37 (NIV)
30 In reply Jesus said: “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he was attacked by robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. 31 A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. 32 So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. 33 But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. 34 He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, brought him to an inn and took care of him. 35 The next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper. ‘Look after him,’ he said, ‘and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.’
36 “Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?”
37 The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.”
Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.”
Pride. Time. Money. We tend to have many excuses when we find ourselves in a position to help another person. In this parable that Jesus told, two religious leaders passed by the beaten man without stopping to help him. Only the good Samaritan set aside his day’s priorities and pride to assist the injured man and get him the help he needed. Jesus teaches that we are to put aside our pride, schedules, and personal preferences when a neighbor is in need. We are to follow the example of the Samaritan and administer God’s grace and mercy in the midst of our daily encounters.
Today, let’s stop making excuses. Let’s stop finding reasons why we can’t help the people around us who need our help and just help them. Both their lives and our own can be transformed by simple acts of kindness and help. The possible blessing go way beyond the cost.