The Right Thing To Do Should Never Be A Luxury

Have you heard about the psychological study of the seminary students and the Story of the Good Samaritan?

Researchers had seminary students prepare a talk/sermon on the parable of the Good Samaritan. The students were then asked to go to the next building and deliver their message. On the way to the other building, a man was placed who was slumped, moaning, and coughing. The researchers wanted to know how the students would react to the needy man, especially since they had just been studying and thinking about the Good Samaritan.

Image result for good samaritan creative commons

Watts, Manchester Art Gallery

Overall, only 40% of the students helped the needy man. One thing the researchers did that changed the results significantly was tell some of the students that they were running late and they needed to get over to the other building quickly. The students who were not in a hurry helped 63% of the time while those who were in a hurry helped only 10% of the time.

One of the conclusions of the researchers was that thinking on a particular ethical lesson does not mean that our behavior would match that ethic. The authors of the study stated, “Ethics become a luxury as the speed of our daily lives increases.”

This study was not done two years ago in the age of mobile devices and social media but in 1973, before the Walkman was even invented!

I love this study because it convicts me in all the right ways. Have I studied something important but failed to live it out? Yes. Have I left others in need because I had more “important” things to do? Yes. Does hurriedness shape my choices and reactions in a negative way? Yes.

We aren’t capable, at least I am not, of treating every moment as a sacred moment but we are capable of treating every moment as an opportunity to demonstrate our love and faith in Jesus. Why do you think the Gospels are full of the miracles, service and compassion of Jesus? It is not just so we can feel proud of this God we serve but so we can have an example of what it looks like to live out what you believe. Without the willingness and effort to act out our beliefs, we really don’t have much belief to speak of.


Two Purposes


Diet and exercise has only two purposes. 1) Improve heart and overall health. 2) Lose weight.

In the same way, reading the Bible has only two purposes. 1) Teach you about how God is with his people. 2) Guide you to a better way of living.

If you are reading scripture to win arguments, defend a political opinion, appear smarter than other people, or personal pride, then you are reading for the wrong purposes.

Next time you read the Bible, try asking yourself – What does this passage tell me about how God is with his people? What am I learning that would be a better approach to the way that I am living?

Let’s try it with the following passage:

photo credit: mnplatypus

23 Things – Week 5: Study

Week 5: Study

10. Watch Paula Gooder talk about “what the Bible is?”

11. Not everyone is bent towards reading and study. Still, you can immerse yourself in scripture through Psalms set to music by Sons of Korah (Click on Listen)

12. Who are your teachers and what are they teaching you? Make a list of your chief influencers, past and present. What aspects of God do you need to study more deeply? Develop a plan to pursue this study of God.

This is week five of 23 Things. See previous posts here and here for the first nine things and an introduction to 23 Things. If you want to be eligible to win a free book, post a comment under each week’s session. Those who complete all 23 Things will be placed in a drawing for a free book.

Apprenticeship With Jesus: Introduction

For Lent, I am walking us through a book called Apprenticeship With Jesus. You can follow along by reading my highlights and reflections. Extensive previews of the book can be found through Google Books and Amazon, as well as eBook purchasing options.

Forward By Dallas Willard

– American Christianity focuses more on the intellect rather than experience which creates a chasm between belief and real life.

– Can you truly trust Jesus and not become his disciple?

– Profession of belief is not belief.

I hate “I Believe” Christian songs. There are countless tunes that are just a listing of beliefs. The way you live your life is your testimony to what you believe not a three minute song with multiple chorus repeats.

Introduction: Who Would I Be If Jesus Were Living His Life Through Me

– Need to move beyond “decision driven evangelism and fact wrapped discipleship”

– Our Christian life needs to be experiential with hands on training just like an apprentice

– An apprentice spends time with the Master in order to do what the master does

– “Good enough Christianity” – Belief without transformation

I really can’t get past the subtitle to the introduction. What would Jesus be like if he were in my job, my family, my church, and my life? What would that look like? How would I treat others? How would I treat myself? How would I work? How would I serve my church?

Oh Lord, how I want Christians to move past Good Enough Christianity. Did Christ die for just good enough? How I want my life to be so much more than good enough.

What is Jesus teaching me? I hate to fall into fads and hype and I get so annoyed with first day enthusiasm but last day apathy but I am beginning to see that God places new and exciting endeavors in our lives in order to shake us up a bit. This Lent project of working through this book has made me excited all day. I have already begun thinking about ways that I can be more earnest with my faith and how I want to learn from the Master. God has brought this activity, as well as this blog into my life as a part of my transformation.

What is God bringing into your life for your transformation?