The key verse is verse 16, “And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit?” Genuine sympathy, out of a heart of love and compassion, is certainly hard to come by these days. We seem to be living in a day of “religion,” not Christianity. In the story told by Christ of the good Samaritan, the priest and Levite were religious, but the Samaritan was “Christian” in his act of sympathy. The following illustration proves my point:
“Madam,” he apologized in a broken voice, “I wish to draw your attention to the terrible plight of a poor family in your neighborhood. The father is dead, the mother is too ill to work, and the nine children are hungry. Moreover, they are about to be turned out into the cold streets unless the neighbors pay their rent.” At this point the neighbor asked, “And who are you, Sir?” Bowing his head in embarrassment, he sheepishly said, “I am the landlord.”
The moral of this story is this: Are we truly interested in others, or are we interested in others because it affects us?
If we knew what hearts are aching for, the comforts we might bring,
If we knew what souls were yearning for, the sunshine we could fling.
If we knew what feet are weary, walking pathways roughly laid,
We would quickly hasten forward, stretching forth our hands to aid.
If we knew what friends around us feel, a want they never tell,
That some word which we have spoken,
Pained or wounded where it fell,
We would speak in accents tender,
To each friend we chanced to meet,
We would give to each one freely, smiles of sympathy so sweet.
What to do:
Do unto others,
Say unto others,
Act toward others,
Treat others, as you would have them do to you.
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