Doing good for others is a way of life which Jesus lived, and encouraged in his followers (Mathew 25:40). The well known parable of the Good Samaritan applauds kindness towards our ‘neighbours’, which includes people we don’t know. The Bible teaches that Christians should bring the kindness that Jesus demonstrated towards us to everyone that we interact with. But is this the way we live?
Research reveals that Australians are not only willing to help strangers in need, but acts of kindness far outnumber acts of violence. For every act of violence to a stranger, there are 38 acts of kindness towards fellow Australians. 86% of Australians say they have helped a stranger in need, while 27% or 4.68 million say they show kindness every day and a further 29%, several times a week. That’s more than the population of Sydney! The most common acts of kindness are: help with shopping, help in an emergency, helping a stranger to gain access or mobility, comforting a stranger, and help with money. We even help those who don’t need help! 61.5% Australians say they have done something nice for a stranger “just for the sake of being kind” – not because they were in any obvious need. Most of these (90%) said they would look to doing something nice for a stranger in no particular need in the future.*
Jesus held nothing back, not even himself, which he gave for our freedom on the cross. Mark 10:45 says “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Jesus tells his followers that : ‘… whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.” – Matthew 25:40. Paul goes so far as to say, ‘the only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love’ – Galatians 5:6 This is an emphatic statement, which shows the importance that God places on the way that we live out the love that he so generously gave to us. If Christians seek to be like Jesus, then these verses challenges us that even people that we see as ‘the least’ are valuable in Gods sight and should be treated well.
Do we seek to ‘do good’ as the good Samaritan did?
That’s what I’ve been thinking about. What do you think?
* McCrindle Research Pty Ltd, The Heart of Australia, p10