Beyond Being Moved

Dan Lovaglia, Camp Pastor, Camp Paradise | February 21, 2024

He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, brought him to an inn and took care of him. The next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper. ‘Look after him,’ he said, ‘and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.’ “Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?” The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.”
Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.”
Luke 10:34-37

“What if ‘love your enemy’ isn’t a metaphor?” I’ll never forget where I was when I heard Bob Goff, author of Love Does and Everybody Always, ask this weighty question. It wasn’t even his main point, but it pressed hard on my heart, and still does. But is being moved enough?

It’s easy to be moved spiritually without living differently. Jesus’ parables aren’t just food for thought; they’re discipleship instructions for godly living and loving. Think about today’s passage about the Good Samaritan. One application could be to look out for people that require roadside assistance. But having a heart that notices more needs isn’t the point, or enough. Jesus lays out a surprising scene where two people, at odds ethnically, culturally, and religiously, end up at a crossroad they’d rather avoid. They’re essentially enemies, but the Good Samaritan decides to lay that aside and then some.

The Good Samaritan went beyond calling 9-1-1 for a stranger. He laid his resources and reputation on the line for an adversary. In modern terms, he emptied his wallet, wrote a blank check, purged his pantry, raided the medicine cabinet, gave over his car keys, and didn’t bat an eye at the money or time it cost him. It didn’t matter that they probably disagreed on most everything in life. All that concerned the Good Samaritan was keeping a fellow injured, embarrassed, destitute human alive so healing could happen.

Love your neighbor. Love your enemy. Jesus didn’t tell stories about these truths to only press on our hearts. If we stop there, we miss the main point. Jesus’ parables are for anyone willing to hear and see God’s best and put it to the test in word and deed. Like the Good Samaritan, we demonstrate godly mercy when we live out tangible generosity that meets real needs of real people.

Today, you have another opportunity to stretch your generosity muscles, to go beyond being moved. What God-given resources—money, time, skills, preferences, status, or stuff you own—will you give when it’s time to love your neighbor or your enemy?

Next Steps

What holds you back from getting personally and practically involved to meet someone’s need? Ask God for a specific way to grow in generosity today that stretches you beyond being moved.