Humility=Thinking of Yourself Less
Welcome to Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power and Trench Classes United. I’m so glad you chose to take the time to make the time to join us for a cup of encouragement in the faith journey! Grab whatever you’re having for your break, and don’t forget your Red Strand of Faith because my hope is that you will be able to tie a few knots in it as things written from my heart reach yours.
So far in this series about neighboring, we’ve talked about compassion, which moves us into action, and the fact that anyone who crosses our path is our neighbor in that moment, and about the gift of listening to our neighbor and then of course the sacrifice it requires to stop in the moment and be a good neighbor. Today I’d like to talk about something that actually goes hand in hand with sacrifice and let me start out with this quote from C.S. Lewis: “True humility is not thinking less of yourself; it is thinking of yourself less”! Isn’t that a good one?!
The next thing that the Samaritan did to love/serve his neighbor after he had bandaged him, or cleaned up his wounds with oil and wine, was to then “set him on his own animal”! (Emphasis own added)
It’s important to remember the historical backdrop: The Samaritans were known as “half-breeds,” half Jewish and half Gentile, and because of their idol-worshipping, were despised even more than the Roman conquerors. They were labeled as “unclean,” which is why Jesus uses him as an example for this parable; he was the least likely to help his Jewish neighbor for the Samaritans’ hate for the Jews ran as deep as the Jews’ hate for the Samaritans!
So what would our homes, neighborhoods and communities look like if we were to lay aside culture, social and economic backgrounds, or the whole popularity issue, private and public prejudices? What if we just reached out and treated any of these, aka, our neighbor as a creation of Christ? How is it that we deny ourselves the propensity of labeling others less fortunate than ourselves in a negative light, or deny the habit of ignoring the homeless, or humbly run to instead of run from the addict, the alcoholic, or stereo-typing the more obviously wounded, or the mentally challenged, the frail elderly? What if we were to bring them near to us, just as the Samaritan put this guy on his own animal?
The Samaritan’s eyes remained opened; he listened to his heart which moved him to continue to show compassion. He could have left him there after cleaning his wounds, but he didn’t. He sacrificed his own agenda, delayed his journey and re-routed his course, and at his own expense of his own resources: time, money. He humbled himself and put the guy’s needs ahead of his own, dared to associate himself with him, bee seen with him by putting him up on his own animal. Here’s something else to ponder: I wonder if by the time the Samaritan puts him up on his horse if the guy was coherent enough to recognize the help he was receiving. Remember by the time the Samaritan reached him, he was “half dead.”
Let’s exchange “half-dead” for our lowest point or points in life, when trials and tragedies really have us shaken, when our needs feel greater than our faith. Have you ever been in such a position? Do you know anyone right now who could use someone to bring them close? This verse goes on to say that the Samaritan takes him to a safe place! The first place I think of when I think of a safe place is the church! When is the last time you reached out to invite anyone to a safe place, let alone a hurting neighbor? Isn’t the church a hospital for the wounded and sick?
What makes us different from that man in the road? Could it be the safe place we call church?