Thursday, December 4, 2008

No good deed goes unpunished?

You oftentimes hear about stories like this, but it just doesn't seem plausible until it gets a little closer to home. In fact, just last Wednesday evening in Bible class, an older gentleman was sharing that he takes his duty to do good to his fellow man seriously enough that he'd risk his own life, even if he doesn't really *believe* that he's in danger when he stops to help someone. Yet here it is, in black and white, and it happened in the town my best friend lives in. NOT a large city. Just an average Georgia town.

If you feel so inclined, read the whole story, but the long and short of it was that a youth minister and Hospice chaplain called his wife to tell her he'd be a wee bit late as he was helping someone out...and was never heard from again alive. He was stabbed, run over with his own car, and left to die. The very thought of someone who is killed by the very people he's trying to help makes you sick to your stomach, but then it begs the inevitable question....

If we are to be "good Samaritans" (and we are), how do we protect ourselves from kooks and murderers? Pete and I had a long discussion about this yesterday over lunch, and while I think we were just too emotionally charged to be rational, we really couldn't come up with any workable possibilities that would be a solution to the risk you take. Are we to blindly take risk, just figuring that "if it's my time, there's no point in fighting it"? Is that blind faith in God's protection, or do you think God expects us to take a little of the initiative in protecting ourselves? To what degree???



Luke said...

Oh my.

Blind faith at the expense of prudence is foolishness. But we also must not live in fear, and avoidance of interaction with others is un-Christlike.

So, to what degree?

Umm... it depends on where you are, who you are, and what you are doing. It's a lot like locking a door: Do you leave your doors unlocked as a sign of faith in God, or do you buy a million dollar security system that monitors the relative body heat of those within a mile of your property? Like, neither. Instead, you find a balance that makes the most sense for where you are. Ultimately, God is in control, but He has given us opportunity to take part in our own lives.

Interesting: This question revolves around the Predestination/Free Will debate [smile].


Qtpies7 said...

I agree with Luke, you can't live in fear, but you can't be stupid.
If I am driving by someone that may need help and I don't feel led to stop, I pray for them to be given whatever need they have. I can't be stupid enough to risk my children, whom I usually have in the car with me.
However, my husband, when he is alone, should certainly stop, unless he feels led NOT to stop.
Does that make sense?
If you have the Spirit living in you, I think you will make the correct desicion most of the time.

My children, on the other hand, are NOT allowed to stop and help people.

Stonefox (otherwise known as Heidi) said...

Kris, this is a hard one. There are both sides of the coin...and you never know which one it is going to be. I guess when it comes down to it, you have to do what you feel is right at the time, whatever the Spirit prompts you to do, and if that is "your time", you leave it in His hands.

If something like this happened to say my husband, I would know that he stopped because he felt it was the right thing to do, and that God had a purpose that went beyond the helping. I personally wouldn't stop!

Qtpies7 said...

Funny that you posted this becuase today Kaytlin brought it up.
She was skiing with a friend and his brother and another guy. On the way home they stopped to help someone. She freaked about it, but apparently they boys all belong to some club or something that if they don't stop, they have to give up their lisence.
Turned out it was a bunch of old men who lost their hound dog, so they didn't need help. But I was NOT happy. The good thing is that Kaytlin can't ride alone with a boy, so it will never be just two people in the car if she rides with him again and they have to stop. However, I am still not thrilled.

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