Do I really need to go out of my way?

When I was a child all the way through my teen years, I was taught to be friendly and go out of my way to include people, welcome people and be sure that those in my circle were being loved and cared for.

I was taught this, but I didn't always do it.  I know this about me, sometimes I can be highly focused on my few friends and doing only what is pleasing to me.  My youthful years are far behind me now, still I wonder how much I've really changed.

Do I leave the path of comfort and security to venture out to include others?  Do I choose only what makes me comfortable not thinking of those around me?  Do I preach one thing and live another?

I recently read the story of the Good Samaritan.  It's 12 short verses in Luke 10:25-37.  The question that provoked Jesus to tell this story was this, "Whose my neighbor?"

In this story, it was the Samaritan who went out of his way to help the wounded traveler on the road--not the priest (pastor) or the Levite (religious leader).

I think the saddest line in this story is when Jesus says this about the Samaritan man who helped the wounded traveler.  "When he saw the man’s condition, his heart went out to him."  

Why weren't the heart's of the two religious guys touched by what they saw?

In this story the Samaritan man's heart didn't just go out to the wounded man, he went into action and did something to help.   

At the end of this story, Jesus asked another question.  "Which of the three became a neighbor to the man attacked by robbers?”

The religious scholar responded, “The one who treated him kindly.”

Jesus said, “Go and do the same.”

Do I really need to go out of my way? 

According to Jesus...I do!


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