Zachary Elliott, Special to Valley News
Being the first one off the elevator, my mother-in-law didn’t see the cord from the vacuum stretching across the hotel floor. As she stepped out, she tripped in front of a crowd of vacationers. She hit the ground with as much grace as possible while breaking her wrist. It was a painful and embarrassing ordeal.
Later as she recounted the incident, what shocked her most was that only one person stopped to help. Several people were exiting the elevator, and a handful of people were waiting to get on. All of them witnessed a grandmother hit the ground. Most people gasped, but only one stopped to help the poor woman lying on the ground. It was the classic situation of, “I’ve fallen and no one will help me up.”
With such a lack of compassion and love for their neighbor, one has to wonder what kind of world people are living in. Have they become so self-centered and so busy that they don’t have the heart, time or concern for a person, created in God’s image, to help them in their time of need? I hope not.
At the very least, this behavior should not be the case for the one who professes to be a follower of Christ. As Christians, it’s their Christ-like duty and privilege to “love our neighbor as we love ourselves,” even when it’s inconvenient, according to Matthew 22:39.
If Christians lose sight of what Jesus said was his second most important command, then they are really no better than animals. They are the ones who are to fulfill the golden rule of “do to others whatever you would like them to do to you,” from Matthew 7:12.
This life goal is precisely the example that Jesus modeled while he was on the earth. He came not to “be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many,” in Mark 10:45.
And it is precisely the life he calls us to live out. As he said in the parable of the good Samaritan, “Go and do likewise,” in Luke 10:37.
Now here is where it gets serious. Jesus also said that when we love our neighbor, and our enemy for that matter, we are actually showing love toward him. Think of that!
While speaking on loving people, Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me,” in Matthew 25:40.
Now, this statement changes everything.
I think it’s time we took a new perspective on helping people. In our culture of self-convenience, it’s time for the church, the people of God, to rise up and show the world how it’s done. The church knows that “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends,” from John 15:13.
It can no longer be inconvenient, uncomfortable or too costly. It’s actually mandatory for anyone who professes the name of Christ. Christians are his people, and as such, they are to live like their master.
Zachary Elliott is the lead pastor of Fusion Christian Church in Temecula. For more information, visit https://www.fusionchristianchurch.com, https://fourminutefaithbuilder.com or find them on Instagram.