Love those who can’t love you back. I think that statement encapsulates the very heart of a changed life. There are many definitions and examples of how Jesus changes our life. A tax collector named Zacchaeus paid people back 4 times what he stole from them. God changed Rahab’s identity from a prostitute to a follower of God. Moses changed from being a murderer to a deliverer of an entire nation. When we first meet Paul, he is on a mission to kill Christians. But when he meets Jesus, he has a complete turnaround and is not even recognizable by others.
But one of my favorite examples of loving someone knowing they can’t return the favor is found in Luke 10:26-37. Jesus instructs us to “love our neighbor as ourselves.” When asked “Who is our neighbor?” he responds with this story we’ve all heard a thousand times in so many ways. We often refer to it as “The Good Samaritan.” It is about a traveler who is stripped of clothing, beaten, and left to die alongside the road. A dude from Samaria happens upon the traveler. Although Samaritans and Jews despised each other, the Samaritan helps the injured man.
This story is a foundational example of what it means to live out your faith. Our kids need to be encouraged to notice those in need around them. Through this story, we can help nurture a heart of compassion in our kids. We can teach them to see and then act when others are in need. When we do, we are encouraging a love that puts others first.