The other night my husband and I went to see my son’s baseball game. When the game ended and we were leaving, my truck decided it was not ready to go home and wouldn’t start. My husband raised the hood and checked all the connections and kept trying to get it started, but it just would not cooperate. As I watched him, I also watched the last of the parents and the coach leave and we were left alone, not even one person stopping by to see if they could help.
We were hopeful when a park employee came by and offered to try to give the truck a jump start, but not even that would work. So I gave my husband the phone number to road side assistance and they said it would be about 45 minutes until a truck could get to us. Time passed, but no truck showed up, so I called road side assistance again. They said they were having trouble getting in touch with the truck, but asked if we could wait just a little longer. So we waited, but still no truck showed up.
It was now about 11pm and the park employee came back and tried once again to try to jump start the truck, but it still did not want to work. He called his supervisor to find out what he should do because it was time for him to lock up and go home for the night. He was told to leave a gate open and the supervisor would check on us before he went home.
After he had left, we received a call back from road side assistance. They still could not get in touch with the truck that was supposed to come out to help us, so they had called another company which said it would be another 45 minutes before they could get to us. We declined the second truck believing we could just get a taxi cab and head home. We would deal with the truck the next day.
About this time the supervisor showed up. He also offered to try to give the truck a jump start. Believing it would not work, we declined the offer. He then offered to give us a ride home, but because we lived so far away from the ball field we thanked him, but would not allow him to take us home. We did, however, agree to let him to drop us off at a store where we could wait for a cab. This would allow him to lock up the park and go home for the night and it would allow us to be in a safe place while we waited for the cab.
On the way home, the Lord put the Parable of the Good Samaritan on my heart.
Jesus replied and said, “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among robbers, and they stripped him and beat him, and went away leaving him half dead. And by chance a priest was going down on that road, and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. Likewise a Levite also, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan, who was on a journey, came upon him; and when he saw him, he felt compassion, and came to him and bandaged up his wounds, pouring oil and wine on them; and he put him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn and took care of him. On the next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper and said, ‘Take care of him; and whatever more you spend, when I return I will repay you.’ Which of these three do you think proved to be a neighbor to the man who fell into the robbers’ hands?” And he said, “The one who showed mercy toward him.” Then Jesus said to him, “Go and do the same.” Luke 10:30-37
When you read the parable, it is important to understand that the Samaritans and the Jews hated each other. Yet even with this contention between them, it is the Samaritan who stopped to help the Jew. The Samaritan not only put aside his personal business, but also did not make any personal judgment regarding the person in order to help him. The Samaritan saw a person who needed help, and he reflected something called love.
The parable is not saying you have to hate a person in order to help them, and it isn’t saying they must be dying in order to receive assistance. But what it is saying is that just as the Priest, the Levite and the Samaritan, we each have a choice in our actions. Our actions are a reflection of who we are. Not who we are on the outside, but who we are on the inside – in our heart.
As in water face reflects face, so the heart of man reflects man. Proverbs 27:19
Only God knows everything on your heart. Man can not see your heart except by the words you speak and by your actions.
As children of the Lord, our words and actions should be a reflection of the love God has for all people. You should be loving, kind, caring, forgiving and merciful (1 Corinthians 13:4-7). You should be able to discipline when needed and be able to fight for and defend those in need of help. But everything you do should be a reflection of the love of God.
We are not God though. We are not perfect and we will make mistakes. The Lord once put on my heart to see mistakes as part of the process of being perfected and it is not the mistake itself, but what we do with our mistakes that will make the difference.
There will be some who are like David. When they are shown their error, they will be sincere when they seek forgiveness and have a true desire to correct their ways and do what is right and good. (2 Samuel 12:1-15) But there will be others who will be like Saul. They are ones with a log in their eye – something called pride. They will not admit the error was theirs, but will place the blame on other people or when they actually do admit the mistake was theirs; they will not be sincere when they ask forgiveness. (1 Samuel 15)
But God gives us the choice. We can choose to repent and sincerely seek forgiveness, to learn from our mistakes and to try our best to do what is right in the future and to be forgiving. Or we can choose not to.
God will do all kinds of things to try to get you to make the right choice, but he will not make the choice for you.
You can learn and grow or be proud and stagnant.
Reflect Gods love… or not.
The choice will be yours.