“A friend is always loyal, and a brother is born to help in time of need.”
–Proverbs 17:17 (NLT)
“It would be really nice to talk to a human,” I said to my wife as I hung up the phone. I had just endured a maze of recordings, in order to ask a live person a simple question. I’ve become quite annoyed by the growing trend of substituting recorded voices for live people on business phone lines. My wife and I can’t help admitting how impersonal the world has become lately.
All of us have become wrapped up in our own little worlds, and I’m afraid we’ve had a tendency to ignore our brothers’ needs. It is a sad state of affairs when technological walls isolate us from one another, for Jesus told us that when we reached out to those in need, we were actually reaching out to him. In this light, read the following story, told by Jesus in the Bible:
A Jewish man was traveling from Jerusalem down 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.
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. A temple assistant walked over and looked at him lying there, but he also passed by on the other side.
Then a despised Samaritan came along, and when he saw the man, he felt compassion for him. Going over to him, the Samaritan soothed his wounds with olive oil and wine and bandaged him. Then he put the man on his own donkey and took him to an inn, where he took care of him. 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.”
Now which of these three would you say was a neighbor to the man who was attacked by bandits?
–Luke 10:30-36, New Living Translation
The priest and temple assistant in this story were a symbol of people who have become wrapped up in their own concerns, and feel too busy or proud to help their neighbors out. As I said before, we all tend to feel this way, some of us more than others. The only way to combat this tendency is to make God the center of our lives. In this impersonal age, I believe that Jesus would ask us all the same question about being a friend to those in need. Many times we don’t know the answer to his question. Jesus told us that we should love God with our entire being, and also love our neighbor as ourselves. In other words, anyone can say they love God, but if you really do love Him, the outpouring of that love of God will be directed outward to your neighbors in this world.
The next time you pray, ask God to give you the kind of love that will also extend outward to your neighbors, and then in practical ways, be a healing agent in a sick world. There are lots of lonely and hurting people out there that only you may be able to help.
Thank you for reading this, and may the Lord give you a wonderful week! We are trying to reach people who are hurting, so if God lays it on your heart, please consider becoming a partner with us. If you would like to make a donation, please visit www.hcmachaplains.org and click on the Donate Now link. You can also send donations by mail to HCMA (Healthcare Chaplains Ministry Association). Our ID number is 560. The address is 101 S Kraemer BLVD, Suite 123A, Placentia, CA 92870.
Finally, you’re always welcome to join our Tuesday night Bible study. These studies are conducted by conference call, and they take place at 6:30 PM Arizona time. Our conference number is 313-209-8800. Our PIN is 8699032. We hope to talk with you soon!
If you have questions, comments or prayer requests for Timothy or Stephanie Burdick, please call 507-369-6861.