We are called to Act

You go, and do likewise.

Legendary college basketball coach and commentator Bobby Knight has written a few books (not unusual for folks as storied and well-known as he is). In his book, The Power of Negative Thinking: An Unconventional Approach to Achieving Positive Results, Knight wrote the following, “Wanting alone does not get anything done. Doing does” (emphasis in original). What a powerful—and true—concept. It matters little how much we want something to happen, or something to not happen, or someone to be taken care of, or something to change. What matters most is you and me taking initiative and doing something. Only then do things actually get done.
A lawyer asked Jesus a question that precipitated Jesus’s telling of the Good Samaritan story, “And who is my neighbor?” Jesus went on to impart a parable to the lawyer. A parable of a Levite and a priest, each of who passed up a clear opportunity to do good. As we know, it was ultimately a Samaritan who decided to not just want for someone to help the injured, “half-dead” man, but to actually do something compassionate and valuable (something “neighborly”). The Samaritan stopped, tended to the man’s wounds (note the tender, loving care in the text), and carried him on his own animal to a nearby inn. More than that, the Samaritan made sure the man would continue to be convalesced, and at the Samaritan’s own expense. The Samaritan also assured that the innkeeper would be fairly reimbursed.
We are called to act, not just to hope for better circumstances for others. As James wrote, “So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.” May we always, always, always be a people who do.


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