April 25, 2018

Slow Down and Care For Those Different From You

Written by Boyd Bailey

Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – April 25, 2018

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. Luke 10:36-37

Who is our neighbor? Jesus says our neighbors are those we meet who are in need, especially the needy who are outcasts. Religious people may ignore a suffering race indifferently, or label a lifestyle as repulsive, but Jesus sees them with compassion. The individuals Jesus spent most of His time loving are the ones who were marginalized by those who felt spiritually superior. Ironically, the “Good Samaritan” loved someone who may not have done the same for him.

Furthermore, when we take time to care for those much different from ourselves, we model the love of Christ. It is easy to love those like us, but more difficult to love those from a diverse culture. We do risk rejection from religious people too busy with programs that care only for their own kind. They reason, “We don’t have the time, money or interest to care for those of a different culture, while our people still have needs.” However, love looks beyond its own and offers care!

“If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them” (Luke 6:32).

Racism is a raw nerve that requires intentional investment by those of us with influence. We all have opportunities to accept those who have been rejected and bring healing to those who have been hurt. Yes, those who have been robbed of equal rights need us to make things right through education, legislation and jobs. However, the quiet generosity and engagement of Jesus followers is the most effective in affecting society for good. The sufferings of those trapped in generational cycles of cynicism desperately need our compassion. Christians are called to care for strangers.

Who in your life is beat down by their circumstances and needs you to lift them up? Who can you search out that has been robbed of their rights, that you can stand in for as their advocate for justice? Perhaps for a season your generosity will give hope to someone who faces temporary setbacks. It may require you to get your hands dirty in dealing with their issues, because relationships are messy and complicated. Care for strangers can lead them to love Christ, the ultimate caregiver!

“I was a father to the needy; I took up the case of the stranger” (Job 29:16).

 

Prayer

Heavenly Father, give me a heart of courage to care for those different from me, who are in desperate need.

Application

Who do I know who is beaten up and needs me to bind them up with care and love?

Related Reading

Leviticus 25:35; Job 31:32; Matthew 25:35-44; Hebrews 13:2; 3 John 1:5

Post/Tweet today

The quiet generosity and engagement of Jesus followers is the most effective in affecting society for good. #involved

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Comments

  1. J says:

    Thank you so much for this post. I have been struggling with an issue and really needed encouragement tonight, but I have been afraid to discuss it with fellow believers for fear that they would not understand or be sympathetic to my plight. Despite my fear of rejection, I prayed to God before logging on to this site, hoping to find a Word from the Lord, and this article was the first that came across.

    Thank you for encouraging our fellow believers to be sources of Godly kindness and love in a world that can be full of racism and other injustices. God truly used you to heal my wounded spirit. May God bless you and your family.

    1. Gwynne says:

      Dear J.,
      Thank you for reaching out to us with your kind comments. Please know that I forwarded your encouraging email to Boyd Bailey (the author of this devotional) and the rest of the Wisdom Hunter’s staff. We are thankful the devotional touched your heart and realize that it is all God’s handiwork and give HIM all the glory!
      You know,J., I loved that you prayed first to find a Word from the Lord. How many of us stop and do that first? Thank you for your inspiration. I believe that the words in this devotional, God’s Words spoken through Boyd, were a “call to action” to the Body of Christ to rise up and start to live our faith through the care of others.
      In “Slow Down and Care For Those Different From You”, Boyd states: “However, the quiet generosity and engagement of Jesus followers is the most effective in affecting society for good.” So very true. I hope that our brothers and sisters in Christ will feel the urging of the Holy Spirit to care for those that need us.
      Boyd also states, “Furthermore, when we take time to care for those much different from ourselves, we model the love of Christ.” Goodness, who better to model our life after than our Savior? Such food for thought as a Jesus follower!
      Thank you again, J., for your response. We are so grateful that you are in the Wisdom Hunter’s family and look forward to hearing from you again soon.
      Believing and trusting~
      Gwynne

      “Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in it’s various forms.”
      1 Peter 4:10

      “You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love.”
      Galatians 5:13


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