‘Go and do likewise’
By Todd Barrier
Today we finish our series on what it takes to be a good neighbor.
Over the past several weeks we have looked at the story of the Good Samaritan and tried to answer the question that was asked to Jesus that initiated the story: “Who is my neighbor?” We wanted to dig even deeper and ask what it takes to be a good neighbor.
So far, we have looked at factors like compassion, not ignoring or denying someone’s needs and not having pre-set qualifications on our willingness to help those in need.
The last two traits we will look at might be the toughest. For us to be good neighbors to all of those around us, we must take risks and make sacrifices.
In Luke 10 we read the Samaritan sacrificed his time, effort and safety to help the man, though he didn’t know if the robbers would attack him as well. He also spent his money on the man and even offered the innkeeper more money when he came back if the man spent more than he left.
When we have the opportunity to help, it’s not always going to be in a pretty little package wrapped in a bow, ready for us to easily be involved and then get out of quickly.
Sometimes it might be spur of the moment, risky, costly and unpleasant.
A good neighbor, however, must be able to look past those challenges and take action.
So, to be a good neighbor, we must have compassion, cross social barriers, take risks, make sacrifices, spring into action, look past qualifiers and not ignore the needs of others.
In Luke 10:37, after Jesus had explained that the true neighbor was the one who had mercy on the needy, he simply explained to us our mission: Go and do likewise.
Are you a good neighbor?