Time to Care
Check out these helpful resources
By Lois Parker Edstrom
We all live by rules. There are family rules: brush your teeth before you go to bed, don’t play with matches, put your toys away when you are done playing with them. Can you think of others?
Your school has rules: be quiet when others are working or the teacher is speaking, don’t go out to play until it is time for recess, do your homework. What other rules do you follow at school?
Our government has rules: cross the street in the crosswalk, stop for a red light, follow the speed limit when driving.
There are also holy rules. These rules are the Ten Commandments and the commandment to love our neighbors as we love ourselves.
In the Bible we find a story in which a religious leader criticized Jesus for breaking a holy rule. Jesus was teaching in the synagogue on the Sabbath when he saw a woman who had been crippled for eighteen years. She was so crippled that she was unable to stand up straight. Jesus healed her and she immediately was able to stand straight. She began praising God.
The religious leader became upset because Jesus had healed the woman on the Sabbath. He said, “there are six days in which men ought to work. Therefore come on those days and be healed, and not on the Sabbath day!” (13:14).
Jesus’ answer indicates that, while we need to pay attention to the rules, we also need to be compassionate. Compassion means that we care deeply and want to help someone who is having difficulty.
An example is that of emergency workers who help persons who have serious health problems or have been in an accident. We have speed limits, but there are times when emergency drivers need to go faster than the speed limit allows. Emergency drivers are aware of the rules of the road, are cautious in the way they drive, but they also must transport the injured person to the hospital as quickly as possible. It is the compassionate thing to do.
Rules are necessary to keep us safe, help us make good choices, make the things we do more efficient, and fair. There is no doubt that rules are important. It is also important to be compassionate. Compassion is holy. Jesus cared about people in need, and we should care too.
Scripture quotations from the World English Bible
Copyright 2011, Richard Niell Donovan