When someone is in pain or trouble the natural reaction is to call for help. Help is the response of a helper to the cryl of someone in crisis. It is the action someone takes to step in to an unfortunate and sometimes ugly situation to bring needed assistance, alleviate suffering, release resources and extend comfort. Help is practical and personal. There is no help without helpers!
To be a helper, a person has to put aside their own comfort, and for the moment forget about their own problems. Helpers are people who have stopped living for themselves only.
One of the great parables of Jesus is the story of The Good Samaritan. It is found in Luke 10:30-37.
Jesus described a Jewish man who was hurting desperately. He had been robbed and beaten by thieves on the road from Jerusalem to Jericho. Death was imminent. Two Jewish religious leaders passed him by, offering him no help. A third man, a Samaritan, was the only one who helped. This man crossed a cultural divide, rejected prejudices that existed between Jews and Samaritans and demonstrated what love is all about. He showed us how to be a people helper.
As I studied this story recently, here are four things I learned from the Samaritan about being a people helper:
- Helpers see needs.
We will never help others if we are blind to their needs. Helping starts with vision — seeing the needs God wants you to see. The Samaritan saw the man in need.
- Helpers stop and step in to help.
Helpers are not critics, they are contributors. They are arrested by human needs. It is one thing to see needs and another thing to stop and help someone in need. Both the priest and the Levite in the story saw the man, but kept moving. The Bible says that the Samaritan “went to him.” Real love is not measured by our vision of need, but in our response to need.
- Helpers serve the needs of others.
The Samaritan got on his knees beside the hurting man and washed his wounds, applied healing oil and bandaged his wounds lovingly and carefully. These actions showed the heart of a servant. We cannot be an effective helper to others without having a servant’s heart.
- Helpers sacrifice resources for the sake of others.
A sacrifice is “the giving up of something valued for the sake of something else regarded as more important or worthy.” The Samaritan sacrificed for the sake of the hurting man he found by the roadside. He put him on his donkey, took him to a place where he could be restored to health and asked that the all the expenses be charged to him. Wow!
For help to happen, someone has to be a helper. Are you a Good Samaritan? Let’s all make a conscious commitment to see, stop, serve and sacrifice for the needs of others. That’s what help is all about!