One of the hardest part of ministry is having a listening ear. Often times in ministry, our ears need to be attentive and we must ride the conversation through even if it’s cutting in our time or painful for us to listen and understand. Do we feel like the person isn’t getting it or the conversation isn’t progressing, do we turn a deaf ear or turn away when it’s not going in the direction you are hoping for?
Do we leave someone in their ditch because we aren’t prepared to council or help them?
We don’t know what someone is going through, suffering of health issues or the attacks in their mind. Jesus tells us in this parable of the Good Samaritan to show compassion on whomever God puts in front of us. Yes, you need to set boundaries, not to enable but to help that person when in need, to talk it out or pray for God to open their hearts to an understanding. Can’t say “ok gotta go, talk later” if the conversation isn’t progressing the way you think it should be.
I’ve chosen this scripture that was placed on my heart, it embodies everything that comes from a selfish heart to a good one, Jesus shows us how both types of hearts respond;
Luke 10:25-37 The Parable of the Good Samaritan
On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?”
“What is written in the Law?” he replied. “How do you read it?”
He answered, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’ and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.”
“You have answered correctly,” Jesus replied. “Do this and you will live.”
But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”
In reply Jesus said: “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he was attacked A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side.But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, brought him to an inn and took care of him. The next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper. ‘Look after him,’ he said, ‘and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.’
“Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?”
The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.”
Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.”
We can not expect anyone to understand or have the answer to how you someone is feeling . But you can show love and compassion instead of turning away, to be a listener for someone who is struggling. Sometimes it takes more time and energy to power through a conversation, even if there is no solution, that person needs to know you care about them, having a listening ear and to be attentive, pointing them to Jesus to answer their prayer.
Don’t leave someone in the ditch, show them mercy- Go and Do Likewise.
The Christian Writer