I am not in a position to help, I don’t have any extras. It’s not my responsibility. How can I help when I also need help? How will others look at me when they see me do it? I’m not in a position to help today, maybe another day. I will give when I have enough.
Those are some of the reasons we give in our minds to vindicate ourselves when we have an opportunity to help those in need and we don’t. I’m a victim of this. At times I have felt inadequate, in other cases, it is simply too inconveniencing to my schedule or my resources.
The past couple of days, I have come across a number of photos that I’ve taken over time while serving at CURE, photos of people whose “small” acts of kindness have challenged my attitude toward helping others and sharing with those in need.
These photos have reminded me of Jesus’ parable of the Good Samaritan. In Luke 10: 25, Jesus gives this parable as a response to a question he gets from the Pharisees when he tells them to love their neighbors as they love themselves. From the parable, we meet three characters: the Priest, the Levite, and the Samaritan. I’m sure at one point in our lives, we have found ourselves in the position of either of these three characters. I imagine the Priest and the Levite, like most of us, did a quick logical arithmetic calculation in their heads that put into consideration a lot of factors: resources, public image, time, the law, politics. Were it in the current age, they would probably consider how many likes helping and posting the story on social media would get them, or of taking a nice picture of the crime scene and posting. Anyway, all factors considered, they thought it wise to cross the road and mind their own business.
The Samaritan, I imagine, thought the same but love swayed his decision to go ahead and help the man. He did it, despite the fact that his journey suffered a one day delay. He helped, even though clearly, this was not something he had on his day’s itinerary and he had to divert his resources to help this man.
Many times, we miss an opportunity to help because we are in a hurry or our resources are too tight to be diverted to something else. We forget that, no matter what excuses we have, love should be our only motivation for helping others. More often than not, we forget the commandment that we ought to love our neighbors as we love ourselves.
From seeing a girl struggling to walk helping another who is in a wheelchair and a two year old sharing what little she has with a man in a wheelchair, I realized that I never have an excuse good enough to act like the priest or the Levite. Love should always drive us to act like the Samaritan. We should always help out of love, not convenience, adequacy of our resources, or to act superfluous. It should always be out of love, spending ourselves everyday for those in need because we know that it is not in vain (Galatians 6:9).