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The Switch and the Samaritan

Serving the Poor

Part seventeen of our Missions Matter Series, come back each week to find out more about serving those around your home and community as well as around the world. God has given us the power to be His witnesses! Start today…

By Heather Radu-

Founder Heather RaduGod loves you all the time. He does not quit for a day, hour, even a second. I think that is one of the most beautiful things about being a Christian. God’s love never changes. When I show love to people, the quality of that love sometimes depends on my mood. Sometimes, unfortunately, my mood is not the greatest. I think this is true of most of us, isn’t it?

Sometimes when we serve the poor in our communities, the love we have for people has a sort of “on/off” switch. When you go to the community center, or the food pantry, or wherever you serve, you are “on.” You talk with people, you help fill their physical needs, and you share the love of Jesus with them. You might even develop a sort of friendship with the people you meet there.

The sort of ministry described above takes a lot of energy. When you are exhausted after a long day, the temptation to flip your switch to the “off” position is very tempting. You might walk down the street and see a man laying on the sidewalk and think, “I’ve done my part today. Please, God, send someone to help this man.” Then you walk on by.

Does that scenario sound familiar? It should because it is very much like the parable of the Good Samaritan! In Luke 10:25-37 Jesus tells us about the man who had been robbed, and how the respectable people passed by because they were too busy “serving God.” They did not have time to get their hands dirty. But truly, getting their hands dirty was exactly what God wanted them to do.

At this point you might be thinking, “thanks for the guilt trip.” But making people feel guilty is not the point. What I really want to do is to remind myself and everyone who reads this that serving the poor, and loving people in general, is not a job we do. It is not a task we perform. Serving those in need should be a natural outgrowth of our love for God. When we love God, his love will fill us up and give us the strength to serve others without reverting to an “on/off” mentality.

I encourage you to seek The Lord every day and ask him for strength to love like that Samaritan.

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