Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Choose To Be Generous

When we see bad things happen it's an opportunity for generosity to shine through us.

Luke 10: 27-37  The man answered, “‘You must 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.’”

28 “Right!” Jesus told him. “Do this and you will live!” The man wanted to justify his actions, so he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”

30 Jesus replied with a story: “A Jewish man was traveling on a trip from Jerusalem 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.

31 “By chance a priest came along. But when he saw the man lying there, he crossed to the other side of the road and passed him by. 32 A Temple assistant walked over and looked at him lying there, but he also passed by on the other side.

33 “Then a despised Samaritan came along, and when he saw the man, he felt compassion for him. 34 Going over to him, the Samaritan soothed his wounds with olive oil and wine and bandaged them. Then he put the man on his own donkey and took him to an inn, where he took care of him. 35 The next day he handed the innkeeper two silver coins, telling him, ‘Take care of this man. If his bill runs higher than this, I’ll pay you the next time I’m here.’

36 “Now which of these three would you say was a neighbor to the man who was attacked by bandits?” Jesus asked. 37 The man replied, “The one who showed him mercy.”Then Jesus said, “Yes, now go and do the same.”

Jesus is still talking with the religious leader from yesterdays post that asked him what the most important command is. Jesus told him that he needs to love God and love his neighbor and then he asked Jesus a follow up question, "Who is my neighbor?" It sounds like this guy's question that he really wants to know is, "How small of a group of people do I have to be generous to?"

Jesus answers the question with a story that, like all good stories, included a crisis situation and a hero. There were three men that were presented with the opportunity to prove their compassion, two of them should have been friendly by the world's standards but they were not, and then there was the one that could have easily justified why he didn't help but instead he was the one that did.

All of them came across the same exact circumstances and they all made a decision. Two of them were very religious people, these two choose to take the easy way out and step away from the guy that was hurt, imagine being this guy and looking up and seeing your pastor and one of your deacons go walking by without giving you any help, it would definitely be time to go to a different church.  

The third guy which happened to be a Samaritan allowed his trip to be delayed, took the risk of being attacked by the same bandits and he gave up some of his belongings to administer first aid. He was generous in giving of his treasure and time and he did it for somebody that he wasn't even friends with, the Samaritans and the Jews were enemies, Jesus really proved his point in this parable by having the nice guy be the Samaritan.  

We need to love across borders and social boundaries, there shouldn't be any limitations on who we will go to and give generously, I am not too good that I shouldn't assist anybody that I can help. Jesus modeled the highest level of generosity for us:

2 Corinthians 8:9  You know the generous grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. Though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor

Generosity is a quality that a Christ follower must have, Christ example to us makes it clear, he came to earth and gave generously everyday. I need to follow his example and be more compassionate and generous daily.

Lord, help me to be less selfish and think of others I need to meet some needs today.

You might like to read:
Go The Second Mile  //  Mercy, Do I Have To Do That  //  Say "I Love You" To Someone