good-samaritanChristians across our nation continue to pray for the Warren family in the wake of extreme tragedy. They will need support, encouragement, and prayers for years to come. The outpouring of support for them is a testimony to the grace and mercy of God to comfort His children in their deepest woes. Like you, I pray that God will use them for His glory during all that lies ahead. However…

There are Warren families all around us who don’t have a support system. Not to minimize their pain, but there is brokenness and pain around all of us every day. WE are carrying our own brokenness and pain that few are aware of. The Warren family is us and all around us to varying degrees. Who is not Rick Warren in some way at some time… eventually? We all have multiple chances to be a Good Samaritan.

Because we live in a broken world among broken people now is a good time for a reality check.

Reality Check 1: People around you are hurting and broken, cut them some slack. Be gracious, patient, loving, and forgiving. You don’t know the burden they’re carrying so don’t put any bricks on their back OR throw rocks at them.

Ephesians 4:29 Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.

Reality Check 2: In the midst of your own hurt and pain, it is not wise to wound people around you who are dealing with their own burdens. Something as simple as a smile or kind word may momentarily lift a person’s spirit and glorify God.

Galatians 6:2 Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.

Reality Check 3: Jesus’ words and what is written in the New Testament are not suggestions, they ARE what followers of Christ do!

Mt 5:7 Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy. 9 Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.

Mt 5:23 If you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you,  24 leave your gift there before the altar and go. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.

Mt 5:39 Do not resist the one who is evil. But if anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also.

Mt 5:44 Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven.

Mt 7:5 First take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.

Mt 7:12 So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.

Ro 12:14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. 17 Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. 18 If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. 19 Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God… 20 If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head. 21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.