3 Steps to Making a Difference

Remember the story of the Good Samaritan? A man is attacked by bandits and left for dead when two religious leaders happen to come along. The religious leaders pass right by him. Maybe they had pressing matters to attend to. Maybe they felt overwhelmed by the prospect of helping. Whatever their circumstances, they did not lend a helping hand. Instead, it was a despised (by the culture of that day) Samaritan who was moved with compassion to respond.

What can we learn from the Samaritan?

First, the Samaritan STOPPED… We have no way of knowing what the Samaritan was thinking on that fateful day, but he decided to stop. The Samaritan reminds us we must be intentional about giving moments to God every day and paying attention to what or who has been placed in our line of sight. Are you willing to stop when you see a need?

Second, he LOOKED… The Samaritan saw the man beaten and injured, and he was moved with kindness to meet the need. There are people with needs all around us. No doubt, some of what is seen around us can be intimidating and even heart wrenching. Are you willing to look at the needs around you?

Finally, he LISTENED…The story of the Samaritan begins with a man trying to test Jesus about what it means to live for God. Jesus responds, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind, and strength and love your neighbor as yourself.” We don’t know for sure, but maybe this Samaritan knew God’s law. Certainly, the religious leaders knew of it, but hearing and listening are two different things. In this story only one person demonstrated he had listened—the Samaritan. He was a neighbor by putting God’s love into practice.

In the same way, God invites us to STOP, LOOK, and LISTEN to those we encounter on a regular basis.

This is more than a one-time event; it must be part of our regular lives. Giving a meal to a person will not get them off of the streets. Cleaning a park will definitely have to be done again, but it is in showing kindness that the light of our faith shines before all to glorify God.

Isaiah 58:7 reminds us God is interested in seeing “us sharing our food with the hungry, inviting the homeless poor into our homes, putting clothes on the shivering ill-clad, being available to our own families.” An act of simple kindness cannot be underestimated. Scripture tells us that it is God’s kindness that leads us to repentance (Romans 2:4).

Is His kindness being displayed in you? At River Valley, we want to be know for our kindness and compassion to those in our community. That’s why we have Local Service Projects happening all the time across all our campuses. Check out our Lifegroup Locator for a listing of all the open Projects and find your opportunity to STOP, LOOK, and LISTEN!

About the Author

Local Projects Director

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