Jump Start # 1951
Luke 10:37 “And Jesus said to him, ‘Go and do the same.”
Yesterday in our Jump Starts, I wrote about how a person ought to think about himself. Balance is the key. Not too highly nor too lowly. The idea of balance stuck with me. There are other “balance” concepts in our Bible. One of the big ones is the balance between thinking and doing.
Our verse today is one of the “doing” verses in the Bible. It ends the parable of the good Samaritan. Jesus told this to a man who wanted to justify himself by asking, “Who is my neighbor?” He may have thought he was cute by asking that. Jesus nailed it. Anyone and everyone is my neighbor. The Samaritan didn’t know the reason why the man was injured. He didn’t know the name of the injured man. He saw that he could make a difference and help someone, so he did.
As this ends, Jesus says “go and do the same.” He didn’t say, “Go and teach this,” which we do. But more importantly, is to go and DO the same. There is a balance between our thinking and our doing. We can be strong on thinking but shy on the doing part. We can think and talk about all the things that need to be done, but at the end of the day, are we doing any of those things.
You remember in the judgment parables, found in Matthew 25, Jesus said I was hungry, naked and in prison. Those who were punished received the justice because they didn’t do anything. They didn’t feed the hungry. They didn’t clothe the naked. They didn’t visit the one in prison. Before this, we find the parable of the talents. The one talent man was punished because he didn’t do anything. He buried the master’s talent in the ground. We also remember in Galatians, that Paul said, “as we have opportunity us to DO good to all, especially the household of faith.” There is that doing part.
It seems that in the past few years we’ve turned Christianity from a blue-collar, roll up your sleeves, get things done religion into a white-collar thinking religion. We think and share good thoughts in Bible classes. We preach good thoughts in sermons. We are strong on the thinking side of things. We think about plans. We think about the future. We think about what needs to be done. A whole lot of thinking. But the doing part sometimes fails. We hear about someone needing food in the congregation. We think about taking some, but we just don’t get around to it. We hear about someone in the hospital. We think about sending a card. Somehow, we just don’t get around to it. Good thoughts. Good intentions. But without the “doing part,” there is no encouragement, no help, no touches that make a difference.
All of this comes back to balance. Without the thinking part, there won’t be any doing. But if all we do is think, then nothing gets done. The best plays talked about in the huddle won’t score any touchdowns unless the team gets out there and executes the play. We can spend so long in the huddle, that the game ends and we’ve never gotten anything done.
Our schedules have a lot to do with this. It’s easy to lay in bed and think about what I need to do. But when morning comes and we hit the floor running and there are interruptions and all kinds of stuff going on, we forget. We were going to send a card, but we’re out of stamps. We were going to make some cookies, but I’m low on the ingredients. And we put it off for another day. Then another day. Then it gets to the point that it’s too late. Sometimes the guilt gets too us so much that we say to a person, “I was going to send you a card, but…” But, we never did.
Jesus said, “go and do the same.” Those in large congregations can feel overwhelmed. There is always someone sick, someone having a baby, someone discouraged, someone new, someone getting married. There are funerals. There are needs, needs and needs. It can be so much that a person just does nothing. We can’t do that. You may not be able to make every shower, take care of every need, but you can do what you can. Go and do—is what Jesus said.
I wonder if we’ve gotten to the place where we view the judgment as a final test. If I can know all the right answers, I will get to go to Heaven. Ask me to name the apostles. Got it. Ask me to name to books of the Bible in order. Got it. Ask me to find the Jordan River on a map. Got it. But the judgment parables in Matthew 25, the talents and taking care of needs are about what one does. It’s not about having all the right answers. So, we have studied and studied and filled out our questions on the Bible class papers and we know all the answers, but what are we doing?
It’s time we took seriously this idea of balance. Thinking good thoughts is great. But what are we doing? People don’t know what you are thinking. Good thoughts doesn’t help a family that needs food because mama is in the hospital. Good thoughts doesn’t encourage the person who has gone through some rough storms in his life. Good thoughts won’t strengthen a church. Saying, “I’m praying for you,” is powerful, if you actually pray. But next time, “I’m praying for you, AND I’m bringing you some food.” Can’t cook? Order out some food and take it to them.
What works for me is that when I think of things I ought to do, I try to do it right then. I make a list. I see it on my desk. Write that card. Call that person. Drop by and spend some time with the person in the hospital. My daughter, when she was little, often said, “Do it, NOW.” And the way she said “Now,” made the whole family jump. That’s the idea. Do it, and do it now. This will certainly make you rearrange your schedule. It’s often not at a good time. But if we wait until we are ready, then the need may no longer be there.
Balance—thinking and doing. Both are important. Both need to be done. So roll up those sleeves of yours and get doing what you know you ought to do today.
Do it NOW!