I will always remember an experience I had in Hong Kong. On my way to take a tram ride up to Victoria Peak, I walked past a woman crouching in the shadow of a building. She was disheveled and dirty, but that wasn’t what struck me. There was something about her eyes; they were filled with emptiness, shame, and hopelessness. But I didn’t stop, and I didn’t give her a second thought—until I got home. That’s when I realized I’d missed an opportunity to help someone God had placed in my path.
Have you ever paused to notice the people around you? We’re all so busy with our own concerns that it’s easy to be unaware of the needs of others, including those close to us. This insensitivity could be an unconscious habit or even a deliberate choice. If we’re brutally honest, many of us would have to admit that we are willing to express Christ’s love to a hurting world only when it’s convenient or fits into our plans. Sometimes we don’t want to get involved because it will cost too much. Helping others takes time, demands emotional energy, and may even require a financial sacrifice.
We are visible, human channels here on earth, through whom He can pour out His love and care.
However, as Christians, we are called to follow Jesus’ example. He came to serve, not to be served (Mark 10:45). He’s given us His Spirit so we can become visible, human channels here on earth, through whom He can pour out His love and care. Lonely, frustrated, anxious, and hurting people need to know there’s hope in Jesus. He is the only one who can fill their empty souls and give purpose to their lives.
Jesus’ parable of the good Samaritan provides three simple steps to help us overcome our natural self-interest and become willing vessels of His mercy (Luke 10:30-37). First, we should focus on the people around us and ask the Lord to help us see beyond the superficial to discern their needs. Second, we need to seize these opportunities as divine appointments sent from God. And finally, we must share whatever we can to help meet that person’s need.
As we let God liberate us from self-centeredness, His compassion and love will flow through us into the lives of others.