If You Care, You’ll Be Aware

“When [the Samaritan] saw him, his heart was filled with pity.” (Luke 10:33b TEV)

In order to love your neighbor as yourself, you need to start seeing the needs of the people around you.

Jesus shows us that it’s not always easy to see those hurting on the other side of road. Yet we begin to love them when we open our eyes to the needs of those around us: “But a Samaritan who was traveling that way came upon the man, and when he saw him, his heart was filled with pity” (Luke 10:33 TEV, italics mine).

Kindness always starts with opening your eyes. It begins when you learn to observe. If you’re not aware of needs, you can’t care about those needs. You have to expand your vision and become more sensitive. 

There are wounded people all over the world. Some of them live next door, some walk by you at work, and some even sit next to you at church.

Why don’t we see their wounds? One word: busyness. Hurry is the death of loving others. If you want to learn to love, you have to slow down, just like the Samaritan slowed down and stopped.

The first step to kindness is to ask God to give you spiritual radar, so that you can be on the lookout for people in need around you who are hurting emotionally, spiritually, physically, and in any other way.

  • Pray: “Lord, help me see people as you see them!”
  • Be on the lookout for those who need help, encouragement, or care.
  • How would those around you rate you on awareness? Co-workers? Neighbors?
  • Write down the names of three people you see on a weekly basis. Now write down something you know they are struggling with: “None of you should be looking out for your own interests, but for the interests of others” (1 Corinthians 10:24 TEV).

Watch a short video sample from Pastor Rick on the importance of love -- Saddleback Resources offers 40 Days of Love, a six-week, video-based study for small groups or individuals that searches the Scripture for what love is, the characteristics of love, and how our relationships can be transformed by love.

Rick Warren is the founding pastor of Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, Calif., one of America's largest and most influential churches. Rick is author of the New York Times Best Seller The Purpose Driven Life. His book, The Purpose Driven Church, was named one of the 100 Christian books that changed the 20th century. He is also founder of Pastors.com, a global Internet community for pastors. © Copyright 2011 Rick Warren. 

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