Opening Our Eyes to the Needs Around Us

“Do not look out only for yourselves. Look out for the good of others also” (1 Corinthians 10:24 NCV).

Few passages in Scripture give us a more complete view of mercy than Jesus’ Parable of the Good Samaritan. In this memorable parable, we can learn four specific lessons about how we can demonstrate mercy. In the next four devotionals we’ll look at each of those important lessons.

First, we must see the needs of people around us. Mercy always begins in the eyes. You have to see the need before you can meet the need. You can’t care until you are aware. The Bible says, “When [the Samaritan] saw the man, he felt compassion for him” (Luke 10:33b NLT, second edition).

Just like the Good Samaritan, you have wounded people all around you. You just don’t see them. They may not have been physically beaten or bruised, but they have been beaten up by life. They’ve been bruised by circumstances and the attitudes and opinions of other people.

Why don’t we see these needs? The answer is busyness. We’re just moving too fast. Being in a hurry is always the death of kindness. The busier you get, the less loving you will be. But to be sensitive and to see people’s needs up close, you have to slow down. Slow down long enough to look people in the eye. Give somebody your undivided attention. Stop to talk to the person and really listen.

How should we respond to someone who is hurting or who has a need? The Bible says, “Do not look out only for yourselves. Look out for the good of others also” (1 Corinthians 10:24 NCV).

Talk It Over

  • How can busyness keep you from showing mercy to others?
  • How can you create more “margin” in your life so that you can invest in the lives of others?
  • What are some needs you see around you? How can you help with those?

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