Wednesday, June 10, 2009

The opportunity to love

One of the lessons to be learned from the Good Samaritan is that while we are taught to love our neighbor as ourselves, being human, we can’t express love to the whole world at once. We are limited by an imperfect body and spirit, and the only way we can express a consistent love is to do so one opportunity at a time.

In the case of the Good Samaritan, he saw the man on the side of the road, beaten and robbed, and left to die. Instead of seeing the man as “just one of those Jews”, an enemy of his people, and someone to be ignored, he saw the man as another human being who needed help, and compassion. He took the man, put him on his own donkey, and brought him to an inn to be cared for until his return.

He took the opportunity to express love and compassion to a human being in need. Christ never said where the Samaritan was going, or if he missed something important, because in the end, that wasn’t important. The point was the Samaritan didn’t say to himself, “I’ll think about helping him,” or pass by on the other side of the road like the others. There was no hesitation in his actions. He saw the opportunity, and rushed in to help out of love for his neighbor. He put the needs of another person above his own, and isn’t this what love is all about?

Another thing people fail to see about love is that it is neither easy, nor casual. If you don’t take a rest once in a while, it will drain you both physically, and emotionally. One of the things the book pointed out was that Christ retreated every day to a quiet place, and he is the model for the perfect love.

God gives us the opportunities to express love, it’s up to us to open our hearts so we can see the opportunities and accept them. Once it comes to the expression of love we must never hesitate to accept or we might miss the chance. If the Samaritan had hesitated the man’s injuries might have killed him. If you devote your life to love as Christ taught, don’t forget to give yourself time to rest, or you will wear yourself down.

Challenge: Trust God to give you the strength to love as you should, and find a quiet place to rest and recharge.


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