The Art of Neighbouring
To justify myself, I asked “who is my neighbour?”
The response is hardly one we want to hear. Either we hear the question so many times we can toss the thought aside and work on the next area of growth, OR due to great shock we see our need of reformation, and wait till we have a convenient time to making life changes. The good samaritan is a familiar story to most or one that has been experienced in our own personal lives.
One of the most disheartening observations that I and many others have seen is people loving God and neglecting their neighbours. It is a great challenge to love your family as yourself; let alone the troublesome neighbour in the cul-de-sac or someone equivalate to a samaritan in our own society. Our plate is full and the exhaustion is not worth it. Charles Spurgeon said “I never knew a man refuse to help the poor who failed to give at least one admirable excuse.”
I am one to justify myself by saying “I do everything else right, why should I do the later?” We as people have an amazing ability to makes excuses and still come out of the ring as admirable. Having a profession in ministry is something seen as honorable (or so I heard), but guess what is the last thing I want to do at the end of my day in my free time?
Help and serve others.
After serving your spouse, boss, and children for a day in the life, the last thing we feel would fulfill us is serving someone that isn’t our own selves.
We all know the need is great. I believe I am not the only one that wanted to rush over to India to help the poor after having a spark of inspiration. How can we love our neighbour fully, boldly, and as our own selves?
I thought it intriguing that Jesus named the characters of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:25-37) parable as groups of people and not by individual names. We know the names of those who are our neighbours, but do we know the name of the community group we need to serve? As a community, we can band together and with the strength of those around us we can care for other communities. “It takes a village to raise a child.” We have freedom to love our neighbours when we create a community around us that cares greatly for those around them.
The enemy can attack us by telling us that we are alone and that we ourselves are unloved. Jesus said the Samaritan gave the distressed man on the side of the road to the innkeeper to take care of him. Many see the Samaritan as the Christ figure, so then who is the innkeeper? Christ, our storyteller, invites us to be the innkeeper and continue the work of caring for the suffering until He comes back. Beyond that, He promises to reimburse you for any extra expense you may have had when he returns. The rest of the characters have done their duty–or lack thereof in the case of the Priest and Levite– now the innkeeper is the last one on stage to carry on the work the Good Samaritan has done before us. For us.