2 Cor 5:14 For the love of Christ compels us, because we have concluded this: that one has died for all, therefore all have died.
Our decisions have different triggers and motivational drives behind it. So if Paul says, that Love compels him, how does it look like, when Love is the driving force behind our decisions?
Jesus, being asked a similar question, instead of giving a recipe, he tells a story:
Luke 10:30 “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and he fell among robbers, who stripped him and beat him and departed, leaving him half dead. 31 Now by chance a priest was going down that road, and when he saw him he passed by on the other side. 32 So likewise a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. 33 But a Samaritan, as he journeyed, came to where he was, and when he saw him, he had compassion. 34 He went to him and bound up his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he set him on his own animal and brought him to an inn and took care of him. 35 And the next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper, saying, ‘Take care of him, and whatever more you spend, I will repay you when I come back. (ESV)
For me the answer would be:
Love compels us to stop.
In the parable of The Good Samaritan was taken as a template for a social research (Darely & Batson, 1973), researching the effect of hurry on altruistic decision making. They asked forty students about their beliefs.
And then they told them to go and give a talk on one of two themes: 1.) About ministry and jobselection / or: 2.) About The Good Samaritan.
Then they were sent off to give that talk in another building. The first group was basically told: „Oh! I’m sorry. You are late. Better hurry now.“ The second group was told: „OK. Good, go over now, you’ll be right on time.“ The last group was told: „You have plenty time, but go over now, so you are ready when it’s on.“
In the doorway of the second building was an actor, laying on the ground and groaning. The professors recorded who would stop.
The good news: People talking about the good samaritan would stop nearly twice as much. (So priming yourself with the bible is not a bad idea at all.) The bad news: That’s out of the group of people who really stopped.
The biggest effect on the question of stopping was time:
- Of the people in no hurry 63% stopped.
- Of the people in medium hurry 45% stopped.
- And in rush: Only 10% stopped.
Back to the parable: Instead of pointing to the Levite or to the priest, we have to overthink out time management. Supposed we are no better than the forty students, if we are in a rush, there is only a 10% chance to react to need.
- The world today is about „do more in less time.“ „Be more productive.“
- But if we want to love well, we probably have to do less in more time.
Love compels us to stop. To slow down. To look closer.
“Yea, right. But I’m busy! I have to answer 50 emails by today! I’m important, I’ve got stuff to do.”
Jesus was on a mission to change the course of history. And he had three years. Still, he stops for people you and I would maybe not even look at. He sees the faith and the need in people and he stops. Love compels to stop.
This would be my Challenge for your week:
Pray for the wisdom to know what to cancel out of your calendar this week, in order to love better.