Convictions with Compassion

SAMARITAN 1Luke 10:27-37,   And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself. 28  And he said unto him, Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live. 29  But he, willing to justify himself, said unto Jesus, And who is my neighbour? 30  And Jesus answering said, A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, which stripped him of his raiment, and wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead. 31  And by chance there came down a certain priest that way: and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. 32  And likewise a Levite, when he was at the place, came and looked on him, and passed by on the other side. 33  But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him, he had compassion on him, 34  And went to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine, and set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him. 35  And on the morrow when he departed, he took out two pence, and gave them to the host, and said unto him, Take care of him; and whatsoever thou spendest more, when I come again, I will repay thee. 36  Which now of these three, thinkest thou, was neighbour unto him that fell among the thieves? 37  And he said, He that shewed mercy on him. Then said Jesus unto him, Go, and do thou likewise.

The Parable of the Good Samaritan may be one of the most convicting passages in all of the New Testament for those of us who know the scriptures and especially for those of us who are involved in ministry. The priest and the Levite in this parable were full-time servants. They knew the scriptures. They knew, and should have understood the importance of reflecting the love of God to a hurting man. Yet, they just walked on by!


Unfortunately, if we were totally honest, many of us, if not all of us, would have to admit we struggle with being a compassionate people at times. Our lack of compassion reminds me of something I read recently. The author writes:

When I get busy, I tend to forget the most important reason why I’m here, my prime directive— to make more and better disciples (Matt. 28: 18-20)! In fact, unlike Jesus, the busier I become, the more I lose compassion for the lost. It doesn’t take much for the multitudes to become more of a stumbling block to impede my effectiveness rather than a reason for becoming effective. Freeway traffic is a cause of frustration rather than compassion. A busy parking lot gives me a headache from the confusion rather than a heart that aches with compassion. A long line is an obstacle rather than an opportunity.

Compassion is not a common virtue today. It is hard to imagine how we can be surrounded by lost and drowning souls and not care, but it’s true. Perhaps because we see so much violence and death on the TV each night we have become hardened to hurting people. Perhaps the reality of their suffering doesn’t sink in. Perhaps we justify our inaction, thinking it is not our responsibility to care for the needs of lost people. Perhaps we leave it to people more gifted, more trained, more professional… more compassionate.

SAMARITAN 2God knows we need more men and women who have strong biblical convictions that are based on the Bible. At the same time, we are in desperate need to men today who not only stand for biblical convictions, but walk in biblical compassion! 




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