The technological advancement of the present age is indeed unrivalled. Humankind has progressed in leaps and bounds. We have shrunk the world, successfully, into a global village, engineered transportation systems, and achieved architectural feats that could only have been imagined by previous generations. Ironically, despite these Advancements, loneliness and a sense of helplessness has never been so widespread. The quest for one-upmanship is pervasive. The global culture of consumerism emphasizes the need for each person to look out, primarily, for his or her own interest. Almost everyone is simply out for what he or she can get.
This goes against what the Master – Jesus taught. In Luke 10:29-37, Jesus tells the parable of the Good Samaritan. He emphasizes the importance of constantly demonstrating kindness, not just to friends and acquaintances, but more importantly to strangers. In other words, Jesus stresses the importance of looking out, not just for ourselves, but primarily for others. The world around us is filled with hurting and grieving people; some mask their difficulties under the toga of urbanity, while the pains of others are obvious. But we have a unique role to play, as lights in a world choked by darkness – to be harbingers of God’s compassion and love. Let us reach out to the hurting around us with the kindness of Jesus Christ, and thus demonstrate to the world that we get ahead, not by getting, but through the giving of ourselves for others.
By this, we will not only be doing the will of God, we will also be positioning ourselves as conduits of God’s blessings. The Bible is replete with stories of people whose random acts of kindness were rewarded: Abraham entertained angels and received the promise of a son (Gen. 18). The Shunamite woman entertained the man of God and was rewarded with a long-awaited child. (2 Kings 4:8-17), Rahab was a prostitute but she and her household were saved when the city of Jericho was destroyed because of her hospitality to the spies (Joshua 2).
When the house of Joseph sent men to spy out Bethel, they met a man on the way and asked him to show them the gate to the city. He helped make their job easy thus he and his entire household were saved when the city was destroyed (Judges 1:23-26). The widow of Zarephath gave her last and only meal to the prophet and received an endless source of sustenance in a time of famine (1 Kings 17:8-16).
God expects us to be kind and hospitable, and He blesses us when we are. We must not, by focusing solely on what we have or do not have, be blinded to the needs of others. Had the widow been unwilling to share, despite her obvious lack, she would have missed out on such a great provision. Sometimes God allows us to suffer in certain areas to enable us reach out in compassion to those who suffer likewise. Paul said, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble with the comfort with which we ourselves have been comforted by God(2 Corinthians 1:3-4).”
So let us examine how neighborly we have been in recent times and make the necessary amends under God. Go out today, bearing hearts and acts of kindness, and be the difference God has called you to be. You can defeat any area of lack in your life simply by being neighborly, by reaching out to those in need and extending kindness to all.
You will never know lack, henceforth, and your bread and oil will never run out, in Jesus Name!
– Pastor Nomthi Odukoya