Week of August 20
While traveling from one city to the next, a man was overtaken by robbers. Taking his clothes and possessions, they left him badly beaten. Not long after the attack, a priest traveled the same road. He passed by without stopping. Then another traveler saw the man but did not offer to help.
Finally, someone stopped—a Samaritan. He put bandages on the man's wounds and took him to an inn for the night. The next day he gave the innkeeper money and instructions to take care of the wounded man.
The parable of the Good Samaritan in Luke 10 is a wonderful example of godly kindness. It also demonstrates that kindness often requires something of us—time, plans, privacy, and desires. The Good Samaritan interrupted his travel plans to help a stranger. What better example to follow than that of Christ? He gave us the ultimate gift of kindness—He died that we might live.
However, we cannot learn to be kind simply by disciplining ourselves. Kindness can be hard work, and from time to time, this may mean that we have to face difficult situations that drain us emotionally and physically.
Often kindness cannot grow apart from conflict and strife. We learn to be kind through the kindness of others, but we also learn a greater kindness when we are called to be kind and caring in difficult situations.
A disagreement with a co-worker, spouse, friend, or family member can tempt us to be abrupt or uncaring. Circumstances appear out of focus and God's fruit of kindness becomes lost in the battle. However, through the power of Christ we are able to act in kindness even toward those who hurt us. Is there someone who needs your kindness today?
Finally, all of you, live in harmony with one another; be sympathetic, love as brothers, be compassionate and humble (1 Peter 3:8).
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