Be imitators of me, just as I also am of Christ. (1 Corinthians 11:1)
In the Biblical parable of the Good Samaritan, we see a man going out of his way to help another man who has been beaten, robbed and left for dead. His compassion and care are exemplary, considering the one he helped was a natural ‘enemy’.
Now, imagine the Samaritan going on his way the next day and discovering another person in the same plight. He does exactly the same thing for him as he did for the first. We like this Samaritan. He’s a good man.
Imagine him going back on the road the next day again, and the same thing happens. What do you think he would do? Would it be reasonable for him to say, “I’ve already done this twice. I need to draw a line somewhere?”
This causes us to reflect on the kind of life, as Christians, God calls us to live. The Bible, as so often, is our guide as to how to do this.
Let’s start with forgiveness. This is something that we all face as Christians, sometimes on a daily basis. We experience situations where we feel wronged by others, sometimes in very small ways, whether intentionally or unintentionally.
Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?”Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times. (Matthew 18:21-22)
Peter’s suggestion surely seemed to him very generous. How shocked he and the others must have been with Jesus’s reply! It hovered on the borders of insanity! This just wasn’t the way people lived. But Jesus was letting them know that they had to mirror the scope of God’s forgiveness. If we call ourselves children of God, should there not be a desire to walk, act, speak and treat others in the same way as Jesus?
Another challenging verse is:
Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to do it. (Proverbs 3:27)
It might be in our power to do good but we don’t always always find it convenient or desirable. Hmmm! What should we do?
I know someone who once received great blessing by doing a very small act of kindness at a time that, in their option, was undesirable. They simply didn’t want to do it but, being convicted of selfishness, they did it. The spiritual blessing they received was inordinately greater in proportion to the deed that had been done. They thank God, to this day, that they did not “withhold good”. They also learned the secret that:
Those who refresh others will themselves be refreshed. (Proverbs 11:35)
Most people alive today have a distorted image of God, if indeed they have any image of God at all. It has been twisted and contorted by the devil until He is unrecognisable. Every day in life we have opportunities to showcase God’s nature to the world. We can do this by forgiving, by not withholding good, by refreshing others… and much more.
Shall we commit ourselves again totally with all our might, to showcase our wonderful, forgiving, patient, kind and loving God to the world around us? Let’s get going...
“We are each of us like a small mirror in which God searches for his reflection.” John Vianney
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Struthers Memorial Church is a registered Scottish Charity No. SC 006960 | Struthers Memorial Church is a company limited by guarantee incorporated in Scotland Company No SC335480 | Registered Office: 33 West Stewart Street, Greenock, PA15 1SH.