Posted by: Jim E | June 11, 2010

The Good Samaritan…

As always life confronts us with contradicting thoughts and ideas…Americans have always been a “giving lot”…maybe not in proportion to what we have, but giving none the less…like last night I saw some statistics about world hunger and how much is given around the world…the United States gives a huge amount of aid in comparison to all other nations…and I guess well we should when we have so much…but it does put to shame the rest of the world…and does fly in the face of those who would criticizes us about this very thing…

The reason this came up in my thinking is the story that Jesus told in Luke 10:30-37…the Good Samaritan…Jesus told this parableĀ  about a man who stopped to help another…a Jewish man had been ambushed, robbed and left for dead…a priest, a temple assistant passed by the man…in fact crossed over to the other side of the road to miss him…but then came a Samaritan, despised by the Jews, and he was filled with compassion…and moved him to action…he cared for him and took him to an inn to recover…he paid for all this out of his own pocket…

Now this story has been told and retold over the centuries…and most know the parable…(I’m not at all sure that everyone has knowledge of the story today i.e. lack of Bible teaching today)…but I do think most people who are reminded with the telling of this story are moved with compassion themselves…and do hope they too would respond with the same compassion…because compassion is always active…

So what are the contradictory thoughts and ideas???…well I don’t think anyone would argue with the parable…nor about feeding the hungry…those who really need help should get it…that is why I never argue with those social programs that help those who really need it…

What is troubling is that the American ideas of self-reliance and personal responsibility seem to have taken a hiatus…are we creating a culture of being a victim and there is nothing we can do about it…so we sit and wait for someone to get us out of our situation…make our house payment, pay off our car, health insurance, etc…many people who can afford to take care of themselves spend too much money on other things they “want” and forgo paying for those things they “need”…

I read a quote the other day, “People in this country today do not think, by a wide margin, that they should be paying for others in this country who don’t want to work or pay for their homes or pay for their health insurance.”…and I would agree with that…my Boy Scout training taught me that…to be self-reliant, personal responsibility and integrity…

There are those (mostly politicians) who say to people who have worked their whole lives for something…or who are now working towards that goal…that they should have to forfeit that goal and the money they have worked for…to give to people who have not done the same thing…it goes against everything American has stood for…and has taught us as Americans…self-reliance, personal responsibility…

But it is not for the government to take what Americans have worked for and give it to those who, for various reasons, have not…

Does this mean to pass by someone in need???…not at all…we must do what Americans have always done…give and do for others…it is why the parable of the Good Samaritan must still be told and read to our children…and mentioned in our culture…before it is too late and we all begin to stand around with our hands out…

And it would seem important to post this t-shirt with a Ronald Reagan quote on it…“A troubled and afflicted mankind looks to us. Pleading for us to keep our rendezvous with destiny; that we will uphold the principles of self-reliance, self-discipline, morality, and above all responsible liberty for every individual that we will become that shinning city on a hill.”

Ronald Reagan…

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