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September 25, 2007

So You Feel Bent, Broken? Have a Good Samaritan Heart.

Someone looked at me in fear when I said I would do a blog on this New Testament parable. Look I don’t claim to be a Bible scholar like you I said in my finest non-sarcastic tone. I don’t really have the Latin, Greek, or Aramaic to break it down like you but I am sure not going to be afraid to write an article or a blog about it. My take today on this material may not be my take tomorrow. But it’s been on my mind and I wanted to riff on it. Can you riff on a Bible passage? There I go again breaking the politically correct rule book.

Easy KJ purists, let’s use this NIV version:

On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?”

“What is written in the Law?” he replied. “How do you read it?”

He answered: ” ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind'; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.'”

“You have answered correctly,” Jesus replied. “Do this and you will live.”

But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”

In reply Jesus said: “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he fell into the hands of robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, took him to an inn and took care of him. The next day he took out two silver coins and gave them to the innkeeper. ‘Look after him,’ he said, ‘and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.’

“Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?”

The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.”
Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.”My take is this:

Don’t pass by your opportunity to serve others. Serving others may mean getting your hands dirty, getting blood on you and giving your money away. It may cause pain. That may be good. You may have to do things you don’t like or change your habits, your attitude. Good.

During our entrepreneurial journey and worklife mission we make sales, lose sales, get jobs and lose jobs, relationships start and stop. The happiest and most successful people I have met have a Samaritan Heart. What that means to me is that they look to return good from a seeming injustice to themselves in their family life, work life or entrepreneurial life. They don’t ever stop trying to fly and fly.

Facing job loss or any loss requires a series of life impacting decisions. You need good counselors inside and outside of your current network of trusted advisors.

Sometimes the keys to unlock great potential in your life is to determine where you can make the greatest, giving impact vs. finding out who will pay you the most. Where will you make the greatest difference and impact in this world sometimes leads people to doing a job they love. Or sometimes it means people stop committing their whole lives to chasing money and start chasing something more permanent. Funny thing is that that often means the money will follow. Check my
Bible understanding but I feel quite clearly that the love of money is the root of all evil. It’s not money alone.

So it is what you do with what the Bible calls your talents that matters. When you face a life transition start looking for a place to serve if you can. Look for ways to revise your commitment to family, business, and use the time to start doing those volunteer things you’ve been meaning to do. Most job setbacks result in new opportunities to reinvent yourself. Sometimes I think they come as challenges to you.

But like the Good Samaritan I know people feel robbed. Moments after someone has been let go or fired I have been there to greet them, just minutes after the loss. That’s sometimes my job. Talk about anger, denial and resignation. You see it.

I don’t always say it but I want to say to them in my most profound voice: This is your opportunity to change your life for the better and do something greater. I sometimes think about driving them to the WakeMed or Rex neonatal intensive care unit to hold those children who sometimes don’t make it. Hire me. I will help. This is a temporary setback. This is an opportunity to work on yourself but if it stays in self pity I am driving you to the burn center in Chapel Hill (UNC Healthcare).

 

Or maybe I should just go with the still cool Switchfoot (Meant to Live) so I can be less politically incorrect to make my point here:

Fumbling his confidence
And wondering why the world has passed him by
Hoping that he’s bid for more than arguments
And failed attempts to fly, fly
[Chorus]
We were meant to live for so much more
Have we lost ourselves?
Somewhere we live inside
Somewhere we live inside
We were meant to live for so much more
Have we lost ourselves?
Somewhere we live inside

Dreaming about Providence
And whether mice or men have second tries
Maybe we’ve been livin with our eyes half open
Maybe we’re bent and broken, broken

[Chorus]

We want more than this world’s got to offer
We want more than this world’s got to offer
We want more than the wars of our fathers
And everything inside screams for second life, yeah

We were meant to live for so much more
Have we lost ourselves?
We were meant to live for so much more
Have we lost ourselves?
We were meant to live for so much more
Have we lost ourselves?
We were meant to live
We were meant to live

Don’t try to get me to rap. I can riff on this. Your setbacks are opportunities for you to live and give to others. Open your eyes.

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