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GO AND DO LIKEWISE
A certain young man met his professor and told, “Sir! I like this girl.” The professor, a Christian Counsellor for young people questioned, “Do you like her or love her?” That young man became blank. He had no answer. So it is with most of the young people of today and particularly the Christian youth. It is grammatically right to say, “I like briyani” however, quite often we hear people exclaiming, “I love briyani”. Can you see the striking difference between love and like? Just like the difference between a mountain and a mound. People of this world categorically fall into four groups. Let us see each of the four in detail and examine as to which category we belong to.
The first group is called the problem creators. Who are they? On what basis are they termed so? These are people whose love for money is extreme. “Money makes many things” is their motto. They are definitely aware of these verses, “For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Now godliness with contentment is great gain.” Such people are thieves who strip others of their clothing, wound them and depart leaving their victims half dead. They are keen in seizing the possessions of others and take pride in calling such captured treasures as their own. Recently a grandson murdered his grandmother for a gold chain. Sad to say both were Christian characters. The times foretold in 2 Timothy chapter 3 has already been unfurled. Beware!
These are people who have kept back by fraud, the wages of the labourers who mowed theirs fields not knowing that the cries of the reapers have reached the ears of the Lord of Sabaoth. These are people who victimize their subordinates at their place of work. These are people who are willing to do anything and everything for money. As Christians, probably we may or may not fall into this category.
The second group is called problem ignorers. You would have heard the adage, “Doesn’t matter to me whether Rama reigns or Ravana reigns.” Based on Hindu mythology the fact implies, “I don’t mind whether good or evil sits on the throne, as long as it does not bother me.” There is also another adage which says, “I am unmoved if a fox moves to the right or to the left as long as it does not pounce on me.” Often we stay satisfied as mere spectator of a problem.
This group is like the Priest and the Levite who saw the problem, came and looked but passed on by the other side. They had important business to do. Mind you, they were involved in weightier matters pertaining to God. They were not willing to take risk. Suppose the half dead man became fully dead, “what would happen?”could have been their primary question. Their business for that day would suffer. They were business-minded. They did not want to return for another bath. Their prayer was, “let this problem not affect me”. A few Christians would fall into this class of people who avoid problems or ignore it.
The third group of people are those willing to help but expect something in return. They are concerned about their rate of return. They can be termed as problem gainers. You would have heard about the wonderful Win-Win theory. Again, it is all about business. This could be legal too. You do something and you expect something in return. God questions, “Who is there even among you who would shut the doors, so that you would not kindle fire on My altar in vain?” God answers to such people, “I have no pleasure in you.” They have hidden ulterior motives and agendas. No doubt they are willing to help, but their help is stimulated by strong self-seeking intentions. Most of the Christians fall into this kind of being the inn keepers. The inn keepers are willing to help, provided they receive money for the help rendered and are also assured of future money if they were to extend further help.
The fourth group of people are the problem solvers. They do not work with the brain of this world but they operate based on unconditional love from above. Such good people will be remembered as a blessing but the wicked will soon be forgotten. There was bitter enmity between Jews and Samarians. Jews were pure line while Samarians were hybrids considered outcast by Jews because they came through inter caste marriages. Samarians only believed in the Torah and gave importance to worshipping on mountain tops. They regarded the patriarchs with great reverence. On the other hand, Jews believed in Torah as well as the prophets and were dead against marrying foreigners. Therefore, class clashes were common and animosity was apparent.
However, this particular Samarian knew that it was a Jew who had been hurt. Yet he was moved with compassion. He had the compassion of Christ. That Samaritan was definitely not a medical professional I guess. He was like any other common person on a journey. However, he went near the wounded man, bandaged his wounds by pouring oil and wine set him on his own animal and brought him to an inn. Perhaps his business was delayed. Probably that could have resulted in a loss to him. However, he not only gave the money that he had in the present but also assured the inn keeper a pay in future for his help. This Samaritan had a heart and mind to follow up the well-being of that Jew. This is possible only for those people who have the mind of Christ in them.
India is greatly in need of such good Samaritans. We need Christians who will love India and not like India. Our dream of India for Christ is perfected when good Samaritans are at work. Our certificate of “Good” must come from God. Jesus Christ told the parable of the Good Samaritan for the question, “Who is my neighbour?”
Our neighbour need not be the person next door. Our neighbour is anyone who doesn’t speak our native tongue, not of our caste, nor has the belief that we have. They can even be strangers. Our neighbour is anyone who is in need. Jesus Christ challenges us saying, “Go and do likewise.” It is unlike saying, “I like my wife because she makes good fish curry.” What if she doesn’t prepare it so nicely? Is she not your wife then? I love my wife and therefore I’ll like whatever she prepares for me. This is unconditional love.
Dislikes can be changed to likes if love is the foundation. The Samaritan surely must have hated the Jew but love for a human being penetrated cultural strongholds and extended such a unique kind of help. As Christians, let us also, “Go and do likewise.”
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