This coming Sunday, January 29, I’ll be preaching the parable of the Merciful Samaritan from Luke 10:25-37. As I studied I started a list of things and thinking that can stop us from being compassionate. By the Spirit I pray we put these things to death:
1. Hiding behind fears of practicing your righteousness in order to be seen by others (Mt 6:1)
You may be tempted to not show mercy because you think your motives are not right: You want to do that just so others will see you do it so just don’t do it!
2. Neglecting justice and love of God for the sake of religious duty (Lk 11:42)
Here you may be tempted to recall all that you have done in God’s name and all that you are doing in God’s name so that you won’t have to meet that need right in front of you.
3. Doing so much stuff that you don’t have time to be compassionate. Owning so much stuff that you don’t have the time or resources to be compassionate (Is 58)
When you have the opportunity to buy or do something new ask yourself these questions: Does doing this or owning this open up greater opportunities to show mercy? Or will doing this or owning this reduce my availability to see and meet needs?
4. Allowing fears to make your decisions
We are to make decisions based on who God is and what he has promised and commanded. You must not allow your fear concerning what might happen to you, your body, your family, your stuff, your reputation, or your finances to make your decisions. With the Spirit of Christ, the abiding presence of the Father, biblical maturity, and wise council go out among the wolves.