Summary: The story of the Good Samaritan gives us three different holiday attitudes.

INTRO.- ILL.- An angry lady went into a grocery store and told a clerk that she wanted a half-head of lettuce and she wanted it right now. "Get going!" she screamed at the clerk.

"But lady," said the clerk, "we don’t have half heads of lettuce." "Young man," she shrieked, "get a knife and cut a head in two." "Yes ma’am," he said, "Let me go back and talk to the manager."

He found the manager and said, "There’s a crabby woman out there who wants one-half head of lettuce." He suddenly glanced over his shoulder and there stood the woman. He quickly said, "AND HERE IS THE NICE LADY WHO WANTS THE OTHER HALF."

Brothers and sisters, what’s your attitude? Most people have an “attitude” of some kind about life: good, bad or otherwise.

ILL.- Remember the popular TV series called "The A Team"? One of the stars was B.A. Baracus. Do you know what those letter “BA” meant? BAD ATTITUDE.

ILL.- Simeon Ford, the proprietor of the Old Grand Union Hotel in New York, said, "You don’t need to know anything about a hotel to run one. You just open it up and the customers will tell you how to run it." WHAT DID HE MEAN BY THOSE WORDS?

I think he meant that most people are quick to gripe and complain about something if they don’t like it. Most of us are this way. If we see something we don’t like, we are quick to say something about it. But if we see something we like, we tend to keep our mouths shut. We tend to be more negative-oriented than positive-oriented.

Gripers and complainers have a bad attitude about life. It seems they are always looking at things in a negative way. On the other hand, people who have a good attitude about life try to focus on the good things of life and the good in people. They are generally quick to give thanks and to praise others.

WHAT ABOUT YOU? What’s your attitude about life?

ILL.- Here is a better way to view life. Because of the housing shortage near the military base where he was stationed, a young doctor and his wife and three children had to live in cramped quarters in a hotel. A friend said to the doctor’s six-year-old daughter, "Isn’t it too bad that you don’t have a home?" To which the philosophic young one replied, "Oh, we have a home; we just don’t have a house to put it in."

PROP.- In the parable/story of the good Samaritan we have three basic attitudes that people have toward others. We need to think about them during this holiday season.

1- Attitude of the robbers - stealing

2- Attitude of the priest and Levite - hoarding

3- Attitude of the Samaritan - giving


What’s yours is mine and I’ll get it!

Luke 10:30 "A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he fell into the hands of robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead."

Brothers and sisters, there are many ways of stripping people, robbing people and leaving them half dead.

ILL.- A businessman on his deathbed called his friend and said, "Bill, I want you to promise me that when I die you will have my remains cremated." "And what," his friend asked, "do you want me to do with your ashes?" The businessman said, "Just put them in an envelope and mail them to the Internal Revenue Service and write on the envelope, ‘NOW YOU HAVE EVERYTHING!’"

I know that many people feel like the federal government is ripping them off in regard to their taxes. Any theft is not good.

ILL.- One executive was telling another about the trouble he had keeping a secretary. He said, "I lost the last one, because she had so many coffee breaks that she couldn’t sleep nights."

Too many coffee breaks spell theft. It says that somebody is stealing time from their employer. We’ve all seen it done.

ILL.- Elaine was the office coordinator for the Choate Mental Health and Developmental Center in Anna, IL. She retired after 28 years. One reason that she retired was that she got tired of seeing people steal from the state of Illinois. She saw them steal time and many other things. She was the time-keeper at Choate Mental Health.

ILL.- Here’s a sport van news item from last year. Dec. 6th, 2002, "Mets, Glavine Said to Reach 3-Year Deal." (AP) - For more than a decade, Tom Glavine helped put the Atlanta Braves on top. Now, he’ll try to topple them.

Glavine, the most sought-after pitcher on the open market, reached agreement with the New York Mets on a three-year contract, his agent said Thursday night. Glavine was believed to have gotten a $35 million contract with a vesting option for a fourth year that could make the deal worth $42.5 million.

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