Summary: Looking at the Fruit of the Spirit of Goodness/Kindness
Believe 27 ~ Goodness / Kindness
May 24, 2015
Isn’t it wonderful when someone wants to take you out for lunch or dinner? Especially when there are no strings attached. But there’s also an expression, “There’s no such thing as a free lunch.” In simple terms it means “you don’t get something for nothing.” In other words, your meal is going to cost you. Someone wants to sell you something, or they want your support. They want something.
I don’t always buy into that theory, because we can buy for others without expectation that they will do something in return.
Yet, how often do we do something for someone, where we become upset at a later date because they didn’t do something we hoped they would. We buy someone a birthday gift, but they don’t buy us one. We give a Christmas gift, but they don’t give us one. We pay for dinner for someone, but the next time, they only pay for themselves. It even boils down to Christmas cards, where we know who sent us cards and who didn’t.
I heard a story about a woman who was standing at a bus stop. She just cashed her tax refund check and was carrying more money than usual. She looked around and noticed a shabbily dressed man standing nearby. As she watched, she saw a man walk up to him, hand him some money and whisper something in his ear.
She was so touched by that act of kindness that she decided to do the same. So she reached into her purse and took out $10, handed it to the man and whispered to him, "Never despair, never despair."
The next day when she came to the bus stop, he was there again. But this time he walked up to her and handed her $110. She was dumbfounded and asked – "What’s this for?"
He said, "You won, lady. Never Despair paid 10 to 1.”
I can’t promise that every act of kindness will pay 10 to 1. To be honest, most of the time goodness and kindness may cost you something and require sacrifices on your part.
As we take a look at goodness and kindness, we need to understand there’s more to them than we think.
On the surface, we need to be good and kind people. If that was all there was, that would be sort of easy. But these words take us deeper and that’s going to be part of what we look at this morning.
I want to look at a scripture in which Jesus was being challenged by a lawyer who was asking him what a person needed to do to inherit eternal life. When Jesus told him to love his neighbor, he challenged Jesus and asked, who is my neighbor. Jesus then said this ~
SLIDE30 A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and he fell among robbers, who stripped him and beat him and departed, leaving him half dead.
SLIDE31 Now by chance a priest was going down that road, and when he saw him he passed by on the other side.
SLIDE32 So likewise a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side.
SLIDE33 But a Samaritan, as he journeyed, came to where he was, and when he saw him, he had compassion.
SLIDE34 He went to him and bound up his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he set him on his own animal and brought him to an inn and took care of him.
SLIDE35 And the next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper, saying, ‘Take care of him, and whatever more you spend, I will repay you when I come back.’
SLIDE36 Which of these three, do you think, proved to be a neighbor to the man who fell among the robbers?”
SLIDE37 The lawyer said, “The one who showed him mercy.” And Jesus said to him, “Go, and do likewise.” – Luke 10:30-37
We need to understand the basis of this story. It’s not just about some guy who happens to be a good guy and helps a guy who’s in trouble. As in most stories from Jesus, this goes deeper. The guy who gets beat up and robbed is from Jerusalem. The priest and Levite who choose not to help him are also from Jerusalem.
They are literally his real neighbors. But they say no way. I’m not going to help you. There’s nothing in this for me. I’m going to be inconvenienced and I have better things to do, so I’m going to cross to the other side of the street and pretend like I don’t see him.
BUT!!!! The guy who helps him is not his neighbor. He’s not from Jerusalem. He’s not from the hood. He’s from the wrong side of the tracks. He’s a Samaritan. That’s key in the story. Jesus tells us the guy from Samaria helps the guy from Jerusalem.