I REALLY do believe that many of us that are in the midst of this challenge are struggling in stage 2. I believe the struggle is on many fronts……We struggle to serve, to just participate in these introductory exercises in stage 2 because of embarrassment, time, not on our minds, difficult, etc….. What we learn is that we are simply programmed to not be servants. This is something that ought to get our attention! This ought to be a HUGE red flag.
Read Luke 10:25-37
Ever take a deep breath, grimace and think, “Gee, now it’s time to serve”? As we serve in selfless ways, we stop thinking that. Instead our service becomes automatic and unplanned. We mow the widow neighbor’s lawn after we do our own. We make or purchase two dishes of food and take one to an ailing friend. We gladly spend Saturday visiting someone in prison instead of going to the movies.
Jesus painted a picture of someone whose service came so naturally that he didn’t hesitate. His left hand reached out and helped before his right hand had time to question whether it was wise. This fictional but nevertheless authentic Samaritan didn’t have to “go somewhere to serve God” (as perhaps the priest and Levite were doing); he served everywhere he went and in everything he did. Simple, unpretentious service is foreign to some traditionally religious people. We weigh, plan and program our service, self-conscious about how we look and what people will think. The Samaritan saw a need, took pity on the suffering man and put the guy on his donkey.
Think of who you would hope to be the last person needing your help. Don’t reveal that person’s identity. Instead tell the group why it would be so difficult to stop to help this person.
As you examine this parable, look at the heart of the storyteller, Jesus. Why did he choose to shock his listeners with his hero’s ethnicity? What many things does this uncomplicated hero do right? What truths did Jesus want to impart? What truth do you need to hear?
*Spiritual Disciplines Companion: Bible Studies and Practices to Transform Your Soul