Loving Your Neighbor -Even When It's Inconvenient - Episode 46

Loving Your Neighbor -Even When It's Inconvenient - Episode 46
Season 3 Sweet Selah Moments Podcas...

 
 
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Just who IS my neighbor? It was a tricky question then and it's a tricky question now. Join Sharon and Nicole as they examine the parable of The Good Samaritan. There are so many wonderful lessons to be learned from this parable. Listen in and be challenged. Add your comments as we discuss just who is my neighbor and ... what are my responsibilities toward him or her?

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Read the transcript for Loving Your Neighbor- Even When it's Inconvenient

Speaker 1 (00:00):

Welcome to the Sweet Selah moments podcast. We hope this little pause in your day refreshes and encourages you friend. Let’s take time to know God through his word and love him more and more. This Sweet Selah moments podcast is brought to you by Word Radio and Sweet Selah Ministries.

Nicole (00:22):

Welcome to episode 46, Loving Your Neighbor Even When It’s Inconvenient. That’s an intriguing title. Sharon. I can think of some times when it has been very inconvenient to love a neighbor or a friend. Back when I was a homeschooling mama with a new baby and a toddler, I had to pack up the crew and head out very last minute to help a friend in need by watching her kiddos so she could go to the doctor suddenly for a medical emergency. While I was so glad I was close by and could help her it was a lot for me to do in that season of life. Even a phone call in the middle of the day from a friend who needs some prayer or just someone to cry with, with small children around it can be very difficult. How about you, Sharon? When has it been inconvenient for you to help or show love to somebody?

Sharon (01:05):

Well, often, because you’re right it doesn’t happen at convenient times. I think of one incident when I was also homeschooling, I was in Germany and homeschooling and I was talking to this lady at church who had cancer. And she said to me, she said, I’m having a terrible time because I have to drive to have my chemo therapy treatments. And I’m so sick on the way home I’m pulling over constantly to get sick and try not to do it in the car. And I suddenly realized she had no one to drive her to her appointments.

Nicole (01:38):

Oh, that’s so sad.

Sharon (01:39):

Yeah. Her husband had to work.

Nicole (01:41):

Yeah.

Sharon (01:41):

And she had one son who was, I think, nine, you know, he wasn’t driving her, I guess I just assumed, like we often do that someone else was helping her. I didn’t even know her that well. So I decided that I needed to help, but I was homeschooling two little girls. So it meant once every two weeks finding someone to watch my girls so I could spend the day with her and drive her home so that when she got sick, she wasn’t also driving a car. So that was inconvenient, but it was so good. And I got to know her, I got to meet a woman of incredible faith.

Nicole (02:18):

Wow.

Sharon (02:18):

Just amazing. And she did, she did die from cancer, but she, she died well in the sense that she knew her Jesus and she knew where she was going. And she entrusted her son and her husband to God’s good hands. So I ended up benefiting, which is so often the way.

Nicole (02:36):

It is.

Sharon (02:37):

Even if at the time, I’m like, why, why did I ask her that question? Because now I’m the one to help. But it ended up being a blessing. It just did. So. Okay. Well today we’re going to look at one of the most famous of parables, the parable of the good Samaritan. A lot of people know that one, even if they don’t know the other ones.

Nicole (02:55):

Yeah.

Sharon (02:55):

This story is so rich Nicole. It’s so rich at every detail that I want to go verse by verse in studying it. Let’s read it all at once. And then we’re going to go back and talk about each verse individually sort of mining it for the treasure in each verse. Okay.

Nicole (03:12):

All right. Well, let’s pray before we begin. Lord, thank you so much. Thank you so much for your word and for these rich parables that you’ve given to us to teach us these wonderful life lessons. Be with Sharon and I, as we read them, help us to understand what you’re trying to tell her and I individually and also Lord, be with our podcast listeners. Help your word to sink deep into their hearts and to change their life. Lord, we love you so much. In your name we pray. Amen.

Sharon (03:40):

Amen.

Nicole (03:41):

All right. So I’m going to start with verse 25. “One day an expert in religious law stood up to test Jesus by asking him this question, teacher, what should I do to inherit eternal life?”

Sharon (03:54):

“Jesus replied, what does the law of Moses say? How do you read it?”

Nicole (03:58):

“The man answered, you must love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, all your soul and all your strength and all your mind and love your neighbor as yourself.”

Sharon (04:08):

“Right, Jesus told him. Do this.” I know, I love this translation, right?

Nicole (04:12):

Right.

Sharon (04:15):

“Do this and you will live.”

Nicole (04:16):

“The man wanted to justify his actions. So he asked Jesus, and who is my neighbor?”

Sharon (04:22):

“Jesus replied with a story. A Jewish man was traveling from Jerusalem down to Jericho and he was attacked by bandits. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him up and left him half dead beside the road.”

Nicole (04:37):

“By chance a priest came along, but when he saw the man lying there, he crossed to the other side of the road and passed him by.”

Sharon (04:44):

“A temple assistant walked over and looked at him, lying there, but he also passed by on the other side.”

Nicole (04:50):

“Then a despised Samaritan came along and when he saw the man, he felt compassion for him.”

Sharon (04:56):

“Going over to him, the Samaritan soothed his wounds with olive oil and wine and bandaged them. Then he put the man on his own donkey and took him to an Inn where he took care of him.”

Nicole (05:09):

“The next day he handed the innkeeper two silver coins telling him, take care of this man. If his bill runs higher than this, I’ll pay you the next time I’m here.”

Sharon (05:18):

“Now, which of these three would you say was a neighbor to the man who was attacked by bandits, Jesus asked?”

Nicole (05:26):

“The man replied, the one who showed him mercy. Then Jesus said, yes, now go and do the same.”

Sharon (05:35):

So much richness in this story. And also some ouches, as I realized how easily I could be the one walking on the other side of that road. So, well, let’s unpack this starting with a question asked (wait a second) that Jesus asked that eventually leads to the parable. That’s right. The question asked of Jesus. (I didn’t say it right.) Nicole, kick us off by reading verse 25 and giving us your take on that verse. We’ll just go verse by verse after that.

Nicole (06:03):

Sure. All right, so verse 25, “One day an expert in religious law stood up to test Jesus by asking him this question, Jesus, what should I do to inherit eternal life?” So the religious teachers were always asking Jesus questions and it was usually to trap Jesus or to discredit him in front of his followers, in the crowd. And maybe this was this man’s intention as well, but he seems to be a little bit more genuine in his question because he made it personal by asking how he could inherit eternal life. Who knows, maybe part of him really was seeking the answer.

Sharon (06:36):

He really might’ve been. Yes. That question is less devious than some of the others.

Nicole (06:40):

Yes, some of them are straight out, like that’s a dumb question.

Sharon (06:43):

And you’re like, wow, look at how Jesus answers it. So well, I think it’s interesting how Jesus answers this one. And maybe it is because this man was genuinely seeking. Verse 26 says, “Jesus replied, what does the law of Moses say? How do you read it?” So Jesus answers with a question. He’s wanting the guy to think about it himself and dig a little deeper, which makes me think that he thought the guy was genuinely interested. He’s drawing out this guy’s thoughts a little bit more deeply. And you know, I love that he asks the question because I so often just launch into a lecture answer and I can give way more information than is needed for starters. And I don’t always ask a question for us to see where my listener’s coming from. I did that with my kids a lot. They’d ask a simple question and I would interpret it in a really elaborate way and launch, you know, and they’d be like, all I wanted to know was what’s for lunch.

Nicole (07:43):

Right!

Sharon (07:46):

I’ve gone through the whole menu for the week. So I love that Jesus says what do you think? What does Moses law say? Let’s, it’s almost like he comes alongside them and says, let’s look at this together.

Nicole (07:57):

Right, instead of like talking at them. Yeah. Usually trying to make sure they’re understanding. He’s good at that.

Sharon (08:06):

He is.

Nicole (08:06):

All right. So I’m going to do verse 27, “So the man answered, you must love the Lord, your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your strength and all your mind and love your neighbor as yourself.” So this man answers right away with scripture. So clearly, clearly he knows the Bible and was probably kind of excited to show off his knowledge of Jesus.

Sharon (08:25):

Yup.

Nicole (08:26):

This verse is so neat. It really does give us everything we need to follow to follow Christ. It seems so simple. But when you break it down to each section and what that would look like in our daily lives, it’s really difficult.

Sharon (08:38):

Yes, it is.

Nicole (08:40):

Actually that last little blip, love your neighbor as yourself, if we can’t get past our own sin and insecurity and find our identity in Christ and love him, we’re not going to be able to love others as we should with Christ’s love. Our own love for others fades pretty quickly. I think that part is last because in order to love our neighbors, we really do need to love the Lord with everything in us so that his love is what comes out for others.

Sharon (09:06):

Absolutely. We cannot, we cannot love the way God loves unless God’s love is in us.

Nicole (09:11):

Right.

Sharon (09:11):

And he’s working through us. You’re right. You’re right. And my love is very pitiful. It just is because it’s short, short lasting because I’m so selfish.

Nicole (09:21):

Yeah, hear ya.

Sharon (09:22):

Yeah, so it was a great answer. It was a really great and thorough answer. So Jesus responds with our fun line. Right. Do this and you will live, he says, this almost has to be said tongue in cheek because who can do that? It’s like, yeah, just love God with all your heart and all your strength and all your mind and all your might.

Nicole (09:46):

And you’re good.

Sharon (09:47):

And just love your neighbor as well as you love yourself. And you’re good. Yeah. Right. And nobody can do that. It’s like saying all you have to do to be saved is climb Mount Everest five times with no gear and jump up and down for 30 minutes at the top, you know, it’s, you can’t do it. So I think, I think Jesus is saying this a little bit tongue in cheek, like, okay, what are you going to do with this, because if you do all that, you’re fine.

Nicole (10:12):

Right.

Sharon (10:12):

But of course, you can’t, that’s the implication. So go ahead.

Nicole (10:16):

Huh, he’s so good about drawing people in, to think through.

Sharon (10:20):

He is. Yeah. Yeah.

Nicole (10:21):

“So the man wanted to justify his actions. So he asked Jesus, and who is my neighbor?” So I think to follow what you said, the man must have been uncomfortable with the response because it’s impossible in our own strength.

Sharon (10:33):

Right.

Nicole (10:34):

We can’t do it. I think he asked the next question to see if he can maybe redeem himself, like maybe he has loved his neighbor and can check at least that box off, you know?

Sharon (10:43):

Yeah. So maybe it’s just the person next door. And I brought them cookies last week.

Nicole (10:46):

Right, so I’m good.

Sharon (10:47):

I’m good. Okay. Verse 30, “Jesus replied with a story,” which is so wonderful because we all remember this story. Jesus, he still doesn’t give the lecture I would have given, right? He’s going to tell a story which is going to be memorable. So here’s the story. “A Jewish man was traveling from Jerusalem down to Jericho and he was attacked by bandits. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him up and left him half dead beside the road.” So we’ve got the guy that got hurt here and he’s Jewish. So it’s someone that the people that are listening can relate to because they were Jewish. For you and me it would be a mother was walking down the road.

Nicole (11:24):

Right. Oh!

Sharon (11:24):

We know because that’s who we are and we would immediately identify with it. And then she was what!? She was stripped and beaten and left to die. You know, this is a sad, terrible thing. Right? So one thing I thought of in terms of just the Jewishness, if you’re stripped of your clothing and you’re beaten badly, would they even know what nationality he was or race he was because you know, the clothing might have distinguished that and the clothing’s gone or it’s all mussed and his face is a mess, you don’t even know if he was a person of quote importance, or not.

Nicole (11:58):

Right.

Sharon (11:58):

So he’s, he’s kind of robbed this Jewish man of his identity by describing the story this way. And you know, it’s really interesting how people view you when they don’t see you in your sort of natural habitat.

Nicole (12:13):

Right.

Sharon (12:14):

I’ve the funniest story to tell you, I used to love and I still do, but I don’t do it quite as often anymore, walking Ogunquit like in 20 degree weather when no one else is there on Marginal Way. And I would wear, I have this old, old coat that I called my homeless person jacket because it’s like a green army jacket, you know? So, but it’s super warm. I had on my quote, homeless person jacket, and then I put on a hat that covered my whole face and came under my chin really nice because it was 20 degrees. I’m walking the ocean, having a great time and I’m passing some of the big hotels that are right on the ocean. And I’m thinking to myself, I wonder how much it would cost this time of year when like nobody stays there if Ray and I just had one night in that tower room overlooking the water. So I thought, well, I’ll go in and ask. So I, you know, walk off the path and go up to the hotel. And I go inside to the lobby and there’s someone ahead of me. And I pull off my hat and I’m waiting in line. And the man finishes with the person ahead of me. And he looks at me almost horrified. And I’m like, what is your problem? And then he gets on the phone and he starts talking on the phone and I’m just waiting and waiting. He wouldn’t look at me again. It was like 20 minutes, Nicole. And he just kept being busy. So it was so strange. And I finally just kind of wandered out feeling like I was invisible. And I went down the road and I used the restroom and I looked at myself in the mirror. My hair was standing straight up.

Nicole (13:44):

Oh no. From the hat?

Sharon (13:46):

From the hat. And I was wearing a homeless person jacket. I looked horrible. I mean, I did, I didn’t look anything like the refined person I like to think of myself as looking. It was an eye opener to me in terms of how much of how I’m viewed is based on what I wear.

Nicole (14:05):

Oh, yeah.

Sharon (14:06):

And not on who I am.

Nicole (14:07):

It’s crazy, isn’t it?

Sharon (14:09):

It was sad. And I thought, you know what, Sharon Gamble, you need to remember that when you see someone who might not be dressed well or something like that, because they’re a real person, they just, their outsides aren’t together that day for whatever reason. Well, my outsides were definitely not together for going into a fancy hotel, but I frightened him. That look of horror was actually fear.

Nicole (14:30):

Wow.

Sharon (14:31):

He thought I was a little bit not right in my head.

Nicole (14:35):

A homeless person looking to get warmer. Oh no, Sharon. That’s so funny.

Sharon (14:35):

So, so anyways, going back to our man that was robbed, he’s not going to look anymore like an upper middle class Jewish businessman. He’s going to look like somebody that, you don’t know, if they’re good or bad.

Nicole (14:53):

Right. You can’t judge there by appearance.

Sharon (14:54):

Right. Right. So he’s been robbed of his identity. So he’s just lying there. He’s stripped, he’s beaten. He’s bruised. He’s in the mud. He’s a mess. Moving on to verse 31 after that little detour.

Nicole (15:08):

“So by chance a priest came along, but when he saw the man lying there, he crossed to the other side of the road and passed him by.” Kind of sounds like the guy behind the counter. He’s like, who is this lady?

Sharon (15:19):

Oh, my goodness. Yes, yes. Yes.

Nicole (15:21):

So being a priest back then was a big deal. They were set apart and holy and had to do things at the temple that the common man couldn’t do. So I know they had their rituals for cleansing before they could serve in the temple. So I just wonder if the priest thought that this was beneath him or that maybe he would defile himself by helping this man, this poor beat up man in the ditch. I’m kind of giving him a little bit of a benefit of the doubt, or maybe he even assumed that he deserved it and he was a criminal or something, because like you said, his identity was kind of taken from him.

Sharon (15:50):

Totally taken, just like a young mother. You know, if she’s been stripped and beaten and left the mud no one’s going to know who she was.

Nicole (15:56):

No, exactly. It’s kind of scary.

Sharon (15:58):

It is.

Nicole (15:59):

But he certainly made sure to completely avoid him by crossing the road to the other side, to pass him by. I feel like that’s the kind of action that you use when you see a dead skunk on the side of the road, pass it by as far away as you can.

Sharon (16:13):

Exactly. Yeah. It’s so sad. So we’ve got the identity piece there. This, this Jewish man that they would relate to who now has been stripped of that. And yet whoever he was, he was deserving of help, right?

Nicole (16:27):

Oh, absolutely. Yeah. Even if he was a criminal or something.

Sharon (16:29):

Yeah, and so just incredible. Okay. So now we go to the temple assistant verse 32, “A temple assistant walked over and looked at him lying there.” So, okay. So this guy’s coming closer. Who is this guy that’s laying in the ditch? But then he also passed by on the other side.

Nicole (16:44):

I wonder what made them keep going?

Sharon (16:46):

Yeah. I know it. I think that it was going to be very messy and time consuming to get involved.

Nicole (16:50):

Oh yeah, because he was really beat up.

Sharon (16:52):

Right cause this person is really beat up and he’s probably thinking I’ve got things to do at the temple today. I don’t know who this person is, that judge-y thing again, going on there. And I don’t think he wanted to bother with the mess. You know, he, maybe he thought the robbers were still going to be there. So, it kinda reminds me of your motorcycle story, where you were driving down the highway and that motorcycle guy was on the side of the road and you had training. And so you did stop Nicole and it was messy, wasn’t it?

Nicole (17:22):

It was very messy.

Sharon (17:23):

Yeah. Holding a head in your lap with blood pouring out of the guy.

Nicole (17:28):

I scared my mother half to death when I came home, because I’m like, it’s not my blood!

Sharon (17:32):

I’m okay.

Nicole (17:34):

Shower now.

Sharon (17:36):

Yes! I just want to just clap for you dear though, because you didn’t know this man and you stopped. And it made you bloody and messy and it changed your plans for the whole day.

Nicole (17:47):

Yeah.

Sharon (17:47):

So I sadly probably would have, you know, tried to call on my cell phone or something, but not stop. Yikes. And if somebody needed to be there and you were, and somebody needed to be there for this man and the Levite or the temple assistant wasn’t.

Nicole (18:03):

I know.

Sharon (18:03):

So. Okay. Well then let’s talk about who was in verse 33.

Nicole (18:07):

“Then a despised Samaritan came along and when he saw the man, he felt compassion for him.” I love this verse. There’s so much in this one verse. The fact that he’s called a despised Samaritan is remarkable. It’s interesting that they said that. I think Jesus was reminding the listeners of the relationship between the Samaritans and the Jews, just in case they could possibly forget.

Sharon (18:27):

Right? Right.

Nicole (18:30):

The current relationship between these peoples was beyond a small indifference or dislike. The Samaritans and Jews despised and hated each other. And they went out of their way to let each other know this.

Sharon (18:39):

Yes.

Nicole (18:39):

But here we have the Samaritan and it says he felt compassion for him as soon as he saw him, you know, he didn’t stop and investigate if this was a fellow Samaritan, he just helped.

Sharon (18:48):

He just helped.

Nicole (18:49):

Yeah. So it didn’t matter to this man whether he was a Jew or not, he helped him when he first saw him in the mangled and messy state that he was in.

Sharon (18:56):

Which I love it. You know what I was thinking of because you know, politics are so rampant today. If you were a Republican, the story would go like this. All the Republicans passed by on the other side of the road while the Republican was in the ditch. But the Democrat did not. Or, if you were a Democrat, the Democrat was in the ditch and all the Democrats were on the other side of the road, but the Republican…

Nicole (19:16):

Exactly.

Sharon (19:19):

But that’s the flavor. Like the good guys didn’t stop. The bad guy stopped.

Nicole (19:23):

Yeah.

Sharon (19:23):

Yeah.

Nicole (19:23):

That’s remarkable. It’s remarkable when you put it in those terms that we understand it’s like, this was not, they did not get along.

Sharon (19:30):

At all. And they would assume that a Samaritan would never do anything good, right?

Nicole (19:36):

Right. Or accept help from a Samaritan. It’s just, it’s crazy.

Sharon (19:39):

It’s crazy.

Nicole (19:39):

It’s a good story.

Sharon (19:40):

It’s a great story. And I’m sure it was a zinger of a story for those listening at the time. Cause I’m being zinged and I’m not even from that time. And I don’t even know Samaritans. Okay. Verse 34, “Going over to him, the Samaritan soothed his wounds with olive oil and wine.” And I’m thinking wine must’ve been like antiseptic. Right?

Nicole (20:01):

I would think so.

Sharon (20:02):

What, wine and wounds? But I think it was probably an antiseptic and then the olive oil would maybe soothe.

Nicole (20:08):

To clean them probably? Yeah, I guess.

Sharon (20:08):

It’s interesting but it’s what he had with him so, and bandaged them. Then he put the man on his own donkey and took him to an inn where he took care of him.

Nicole (20:20):

Wow.

Sharon (20:20):

Oh, for crying out loud. I mean, Jesus is making a point here. The Samaritan didn’t just, you know, call on his equivalent of a cell phone and get someone else to help like, oh Sharon, might’ve done. He got his hands dirty. He was careful with the wounds. He used up his own olive oil, which he probably had other plans for.

Nicole (20:39):

Right.

Sharon (20:39):

He got his donkey and saddle all dirty and mucky. He had to walk himself while the other guy rode.

Nicole (20:46):

We don’t know how far it was.

Sharon (20:47):

We don’t know how far it was, that’s right. And then he doesn’t even drop him off. He stays with him for a night paying out of his own pocket for his care. This is above and beyond. He gave up his time and his belongings and you know, working with Dad Gamble when he came to live with us, I know how draining it is to work with somebody that has multiple health needs. And I loved Dad Gamble and it was still hard. He doesn’t even know this guy and he is doing all this because he had compassion. Oh my goodness.

Nicole (21:20):

What a good heart he had.

Sharon (21:21):

He did. I love him. I’d want him if I fell in the ditch.

Nicole (21:25):

I know. I’d really hope he came along. Oh, well, “The next day he handed the innkeeper two silver coins telling him, take care of this, man. If his bill runs higher than this, I’ll pay you the next time I’m here.” It just keeps going on and on how sweet he was.

Sharon (21:42):

Yeah, yeah.

Nicole (21:42):

So he goes clearly beyond just simply taking care of his immediate and urgent needs. He didn’t just throw him some olive oil. You know, he brought him to the inn. And he brought him to someplace where someone else could help him take care of him but he didn’t just leave them there either.

Sharon (21:56):

No.

Nicole (21:56):

I think that’s what I would have done. Like cleaned him up, get him there like, okay I gotta get going.

Sharon (21:58):

We’re done. Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Nicole (22:02):

He also set him up for as long as he needed to convalesce there. He left the money. He paid for it. You know, so that he, and he told the guy, hey, when I come back, I’ll pay you more.

Sharon (22:11):

I’ll give you more. I know it.

Nicole (22:12):

This is just, I don’t know. This is just above and beyond what we normally would be expected to do when you’re asked to help somebody.

Sharon (22:18):

Right. Right. He did a wonderful job. My goodness. Okay, verse 36, “Jesus asks the question now, which of these three, the priest, the temple assistant or the Samaritan would you say was the neighbor to the man who was attacked by bandits, Jesus asked?” Jesus has made this, the craziest of examples, the guy doing the helping is the guy no one likes. And he’s doing exactly what we would want done for us, but definitely would not want to do. Right?

Nicole (22:49):

That’s very true.

Sharon (22:49):

I wouldn’t want to be the Samaritan because it would be awkward and difficult and messy and take me away from my business but I sure would want him, if it was me.

Nicole (22:58):

That’s true.

Sharon (22:59):

I love Jesus’ question here because what can the man say except the obvious, right?

Nicole (23:04):

Yeah.

Sharon (23:05):

So finish this up with the obvious.

Nicole (23:08):

“The man replied, the one who showed him mercy. Then Jesus said, yes, now go and do the same.” Jesus always had the perfect response to those tricky questions didn’t he. He was always perfect.

Sharon (23:20):

Yes, he did.

Nicole (23:21):

He always turned it back on the person asking the question and forced them to look at their own heart condition, which is really amazing. This is a great call to action for all of us to be aware of the needs of those around us. Even those we don’t particularly like, like the Good Samaritan.

Sharon (23:33):

Yes, yes.

Nicole (23:36):

And go and love them above and beyond what would be expected, not just the bare minimum to get by, but to really love them and take care of them.

Sharon (23:44):

Right, not do it out of some, like, ‘I suppose I ought to do this’.

Nicole (23:47):

Right. Like, I think I will help a little bit, but to make the plans, to get a sitter every two weeks to commit to helping, like that’s a big deal. It’s beyond just a quick like, well I’ll pray for you.

Sharon (23:57):

Hope you can find a ride.

Nicole (23:59):

Yeah. Good luck with that.

Sharon (24:00):

Yeah. Which is what I wanted to say but I didn’t.

Nicole (24:03):

Yeah. Cause it’s easier, you know, and not to discredit praying.

Sharon (24:06):

No, no.

Nicole (24:07):

Praying is absolutely amazing.

Sharon (24:08):

But sometimes God says how about you be the neighbor?

Nicole (24:11):

Yes.

Sharon (24:12):

How about you do that?

Nicole (24:13):

God says, don’t pray for the man in the ditch bleeding, get in there and help him.

Sharon (24:15):

Yeah, exactly. Yeah. And we can’t help everybody. We know this, we’ve talked about that before, but if we see someone in need, close up in the ditch, right. And we don’t have to know who they are, they become our neighbor in that moment because we do for them, what we can, we have to let go of our own agendas and do what we’d want done for us.

Nicole (24:37):

Exactly.

Sharon (24:37):

We really do. You know, I have a friend who was once in a terrible car accident, kind of an interesting story. She had to have the jaws of life come and get her out.

Nicole (24:46):

Oh my goodness!

Sharon (24:46):

She was trapped in the car and her leg was shattered just about beyond repair. And she kept trying to hold on and not lose consciousness. She was really afraid that if she lost consciousness, she would die. She really was. So it took a while, the police were there and there’s this long, long line of cars because a helicopter has to land. They have to get her out and fly her. And she just kept thinking, Jesus, Jesus, Jesus helped me stay awake. Help me stay awake, help me stay awake. So finally, when they get her onto the helicopter, she feels a sense of release. Like, all right, I can let go now. And then she finally just relaxed. So little known to her while she’s in this terrible position, about 200 cars back in line is a friend of hers who has no idea it’s her, who’s, you know, late for an appointment.

Nicole (25:39):

Right.

Sharon (25:39):

Going, ‘come on’ and God tells this woman pray, you pray basically your brains out for that person that you think you don’t know, but you really do, cause God knew.

Nicole (25:51):

Oh goodness. That gives me goosebumps.

Sharon (25:53):

Yeah. Yeah. So that person sat in line for however many hours it took, it was a long time and she did nothing but pray for my friend and the release came when at the same moment, when she felt released was when my friend felt like she could stop. It was like, God used that prayer to keep her going. And that’s a sacrifice of time because she could have gotten on her phone during that time in line, she could have just gotten mad.

Nicole (26:25):

Right. And fumed and tried to get out of the traffic.

Sharon (26:27):

Or just done a brief prayer, ‘Oh Lord, please be with the person that is hurting’. She prayed consistently until she saw her in the helicopter.

Nicole (26:35):

That’s amazing.

Sharon (26:35):

Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. So sometimes you know, we need to do what God calls us to do and the good Samaritan in this case just prayed, but she prayed for a couple of hours.

Nicole (26:46):

That’s a big commitment. That’s amazing.

Sharon (26:48):

Yeah. Yeah. That really is. So that’s just another, just very different examples. But now I’ve got kind of a hard question for you because you know, here we are helping people in trouble, right?

Nicole (26:57):

Yeah.

Sharon (26:58):

You have little girls and I can remember when my girls were little hearing that one of the ways predators get to little children is saying, I lost my puppy, can you help me find it? Or something like that? I mean, not everybody that says they need help, needs help.

Nicole (27:15):

I know.

Sharon (27:16):

What do you do in a situation like that as a mama, you want to teach the girls to, you know, help the person in the ditch.

Nicole (27:21):

But what if the person in the ditch is very evil?

Sharon (27:24):

Right, right.

Nicole (27:25):

I know. That’s a great question. That’s a hard question. It’s really hard to instill compassion in our kiddos while keeping them safe from a really scary world.

Sharon (27:35):

Yeah.

Nicole (27:35):

What I’ve personally told my girls, and my dad kind of pounded this into my head too, was, you know, you’re a female, you need to be very careful stopping to help people. So always have your husband, your friends, someone with you. So I kind of had that in the back of my head. And I tell my girls too, if anyone ever asks them for help, they’re supposed to always say, let me get my dad or mom, let me get my parents. And before they say anything, come and get us because we can help them help if they’re really in trouble. And if they’re not, by the time we come back, that person will hopefully be far away.

Sharon (28:07):

That’s excellent advice. That is because there you walk a delicate line, you’re teaching your children to be compassionate and teaching your children to be caring, but you also want to teach your children to be safe.

Nicole (28:17):

Yeah. And it’s so sad that we have to do this.

Sharon (28:19):

Isn’t it sad?

Nicole (28:20):

But at this point in their life, I think I’m a little more concerned with their safety than their compassion, which is probably wrong. But that mama bear in me is like grrrr.

Sharon (28:29):

Yeah, well, they can be compassionate on the school playground with the kid that falls down.

Nicole (28:34):

Exactly.

Sharon (28:34):

Who’s their neighbor and their own age and not with an adult.

Nicole (28:37):

There you go. But maybe to be helpful to an adult they need another adult to help them.

Sharon (28:39):

They need somebody else to help. And we all have to be walking close to the Holy Spirit. That’s the whole deal here. You know, hearing the voice that says you need to be praying, especially right now, or this one, this one, this woman that has cancer, this one is yours. So we need to be very much paying attention. So.

Nicole (28:58):

I think so, I think he’ll make it very clear. I don’t think we have to stress about who is our neighbor and who do we help? I think it’ll be like walking by and seeing them in the ditch. Like, it’ll be very clear if we’re listening to God.

Sharon (29:08):

If we’re listening. Exactly. And sometimes we have to get our hands dirty. We just do. And it doesn’t matter what they look like or who they are.

Nicole (29:15):

Exactly.

Sharon (29:16):

And we need to help. So. All right. Well let me pray in closing. Oh, heavenly Father, we are just in awe of your word, how a simple story can teach us so much about showing compassion, about loving those, that don’t quote, look lovely. Jesus, forgive me when I want to walk on the other side and not get involved in something that looks messy. Help me to hear your voice. Help me to know when you want me to stop. When you whisper, this is your neighbor. I pray the same for every podcast listener, Lord guide us, help us to show the kind of compassion you want us to, in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Nicole (30:03):

Well, I know I need to stay close to Jesus so I can hear his voice in situations where he wants me to help. Maybe more than I want me to help. May God give us all wisdom and compassion for those who are hurting and who don’t necessarily look or act like us, or even share our own belief system. We love hearing from you so please do write us @sweetselah.org/podcast. Donations are always welcome and appreciated too. Come on back next week for episode 47, Keep Watch. Until then, may you have a blessed week filled with compassion and wisdom for the situations that meet you along the way

Speaker 1 (30:41):

We are so glad you stopped for a while with us. Sweet Selah Moments is a co-operative production of Word Radio and Sweet Selah Ministries. More information about this Sweet Selah Moments podcast, including show notes, can be found at sweetselah.org and at wordradio.net. Thank you for joining us.

 

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