“But a Samaritan, as he journeyed, came to where he was, and when he saw him, he had compassion. He went to him and bound up his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he set him on his own animal and brought him to an inn and took care of him.“
-Jesus, Luke 10:33-34
If you are having a hard time fighting off apathy and indifference these days, you are not alone. With our senses being maxed out by wave after wave of bad news, it eventually becomes temptating to just check out emotionally and stop caring.
The human heart can only take so much before it goes into hiding.
When the problems are big and no solution is in sight, at some point it just feels safer to withdraw from the whole mess. Just pretend as if none of it really matters and maybe life won’t be so hard.
But as followers of Jesus, we’re called to care, especially when others have stopped caring. We are to be like the third passerby in that story that Jesus told…the one about the Good Samaritan. The first two people that came along, though they were religious, didn’t care enough to stop and help. It was the third person that was the unlikely example. He didn’t have status or a title like the other two, but he had a heart.
In case you are searching for reasons to keep caring about the world and the people who live in it, here are three:
- God still loves the world, even in its broken condition. If He does, so should we. Look in your Bible and you will find John 3:16 is still in there. As ugly and messy as our world is, it’s probably not any more so than when the Father sent his Son here on a search and rescue mission two thousand years ago. The world that Jesus stepped into was Roman and raw. It didn’t exactly welcome the Redeemer with open arms. Yet, He loved the world then and he still loves the world even now.
- Caring about people is good for your health. Multiple studies clearly show the benefit of living with compassion and kindness toward others. From reducing your blood pressure to giving you a deeper sense of fulfillment, caring for others is as healthy and wholesome as it gets. Go out of your way to love on someone today and see how it makes you feel.
- Compassion always comes back to you. Like a boomerang, when we throw kindness and compassion toward others it tends to find its way back to us when we are in need of it. As Jesus said, “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy” (Matthew 5:7). Or as a proverb goes, “Your kindness will reward you…” (Proverbs 11:17, NLT)
So, if you and your heart have checked out of the surrounding human crisis, might today be the day that you check back in? You’ve got at least three good reasons.
It’s a new day with God. Run with it.