Sunday, September 25, 2016

Who is Your Neighbor?

This was the main question I(Meg) asked the women I shared with on Friday at the Kasese Baptist Women's Conference. It was such a blessing to get to share with them and to be a part of the whole conference. There were around 150 women there when I got to share. I heard that even more were able to come the next day!

I shared the story of the Good Samaritan from Luke 10:25-37. We got to talk about the one who was a true neighbor. He saw a problem he was able to help with, and he did help. Then we looked at how he did three different things for the man. First he used what he had (oil and bandages) to meet an immediate need. Then he used his physical strength to put the man on his donkey and bring him to the next town. Finally, we see him use his financial resources to take care of a man who could not yet take care of himself. I challenged the women to look around over the next week and to do the same. Some of these women were very poor, and only had enough to feed their families. But I reminded them that money was only one way the Good Samaritan helped. They all have things they can use to help others, and they all have strengths that God has given them. They can and should be good neighbors and love people as Jesus tells us to.

My favorite part of the discussion though was part way through. One woman said, "I don't have money to help my neighbor." That is true. They don't have spare change, let alone extra income to use as they wish.

I then asked them, "What would have happened if the Good Samaritan had tossed money to the man on the side of the street, even a whole year's wages, and kept walking? Would that have helped the man?" They laughed and a couple women said, "No, it would just get him robbed and beaten more." It was in those moments that I was able to help some of these women see that while money is needed sometimes, it is not THE answer. The answer is to see the needs around us that we can meet, and choose to meet those needs.

So at the beginning of the story, the expert of the law asks Jesus, "Who is my neighbor?" The story shows us what a neighbor is, and then Jesus tells the man to "go and do likewise." What about us? Who is your neighbor? Are you willing to see those in need around you that you are able to help? Ask Jesus to give you His eyes to see where He wants to use you, and the strength to obey.
One of the choirs who performed a song