Care Enough to Spend Whatever It Takes
By Rick Warren
“Feed the hungry, and help those in trouble. Then your light will shine out from the darkness, and the darkness around you will be as bright as noon. The Lord will guide you continually, giving you water when you are dry and restoring your strength. You will be like a well-watered garden, like an ever-flowing spring” (Isaiah 58:10-11 NLT, second edition).
Demonstrating mercy begins with seeing the need, sympathizing with others’ pain, and taking action. The Good Samaritan modeled all of that behavior when he reached out to care for the injured man. But there’s a critical fourth step to showing mercy that he also demonstrated.
You have to spend whatever it takes.
There’s always a cost to kindness and a sacrifice in service. Showing mercy usually requires a sacrifice of time, energy, money, or even your reputation. For example, the Samaritan took the injured man to a hotel. He likely had to walk a great distance, because he put the man on his donkey. He took care of him through the night, he provided for his needs, and then he even paid the bill — all at his own personal expense. He didn’t just call the authorities. He did all he could to help. And what did he have to gain from his service? Nothing. He just did it out of love. And that’s the kind of service and ministry God wants from us.
Mercy will cost you, too. It’ll cost you time, money, or potentially relationships. Mercy that doesn’t cost much isn’t worth much.
But God promises that when you help hurting people by giving what you have, he will bless you in return. The Bible says, “Feed the hungry, and help those in trouble. Then your light will shine out from the darkness, and the darkness around you will be as bright as noon. The Lord will guide you continually, giving you water when you are dry and restoring your strength. You will be like a well-watered garden, like an ever-flowing spring” (Isaiah 58:10-11 NLT, second edition).
In other words, whatever cost you pay to demonstrate mercy, it’ll be worth it.
You can count on that.
Talk It Over
- Talk about an example of someone who demonstrated compassion and what it cost that person.
- When you consider helping someone, what is the cost to yourself that most concerns you?
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This devotional © 2017 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
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