Thursday, April 2, 2009

Mean People

I’ve actually been thinking about writing this post for quite a while. I have noticed several times lately that most people’s behavior or “loving one another” is a little less than desirable. Kevin and I are always easy marks for the panhandlers in the parking lot, as we very rarely turn them away empty-handed. We feel like we have been very blessed and don’t want to be accused of not helping “angels unaware.” But in today’s society what has happened to the Good Samaritan? We used to be known as a country that would always help. Why have we become so jaded? Now it seems like everyone is either too busy, in too big of a hurry or just don’t want to get involved. The other day I was stopped at a traffic signal and as I was waiting for the light to change, I noticed on the other side of the major intersection that a car had stalled out just as it was merging onto the busy street. All the other drivers were honking, gesturing and yelling at the driver, but no one stopped to help. I was thinking, “What can I do?” I had already decided I would go through the intersection and turn around and come back on the other side when I noticed someone had finally stopped to offer assistance. I thought to myself “mean people.” Just last week my niece Courtney was telling me about her friend that had seen this woman on a motorized scooter crash and burn during one of our horrific wind storms, and people were just driving right on by. Courtney’s friend stopped and the woman was a mentally handicapped woman and was hurt severely enough that Chelsea called 911, but not one other person stopped to help. Again I say, “Mean people.” Kevin and I like to watch 20/20 and one of their new segments is titled, “What Would You Do?” It is exactly what I’m talking about. The show that really got to me was the one about someone collapsing on the sidewalk of a busy inner city. When a nicely dressed actress was pretending to be the one needing help, most people stopped within seconds to assist her, but when the producers changed the scenario to a homeless type man, all of a sudden no one stopped to help. Amazingly enough the only person that ever stopped to help the man was another homeless woman. Here is the video from You Tube.

If you want to watch any of the other segments just do a “What Would You Do?” search on You Tube. The video so reminded me of the story from Luke chapter 10:25-37:
On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. "Teacher," he asked, "what must I do to inherit eternal life?" "What is written in the Law?" he replied. "How do you read it?" He answered: "'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind'; and, 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'" "You have answered correctly," Jesus replied. "Do this and you will live." But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, "And who is my neighbor?" In reply Jesus said: "A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he fell into the hands of robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, took him to an inn and took care of him. The next day he took out two silver coins and gave them to the innkeeper. 'Look after him,' he said, 'and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.' "Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?" The expert in the law replied, "The one who had mercy on him." Jesus told him, "Go and do likewise." (NIV) What makes the story even more compelling is that the Jews hated the Samaritans and if the Samaritan needed help, most likely the Jew would not have stopped to help. Who would you be, the priest, the Levite or the Samaritan? I would hope we would all react as the Samaritan, but history seems to be proving otherwise. Christ commands us thirteen times in the New Testament to “love one another.” If we are the Body of Christ isn’t that our responsibility? Can you imagine Christ reacting to those in need the way we as Christians do? I admit we must react with discernment as it can be dangerous, but I encourage you to pray and ask God to guide you and place those He wants you to minister to in your path. Until next time, let’s try to be “loving and compassionate people” instead of “mean people.”


Jen said...

It seems to be just the same here in Oz and everyone seems to be so angry. There are punch ups, fights, road rage. bad tempers all for no good reason. I am sure we are living in the end times. And now all the pollies are talking about the "new world order".

Thare said...

Great blog! I totally agree. One thing I do know for sure...YOU are the good Samaritan!