Wisdom-Trek / Creating a Legacy
Welcome to Day 1093 of our Wisdom-Trek, and thank you for joining me.
This is Guthrie Chamberlain, Your Guide to Wisdom
Love Your Neighbor – Ask Gramps
Wisdom – the final frontier to true knowledge. Welcome to Wisdom-Trek where our mission is to create a legacy of wisdom, to seek out discernment and insights, and to boldly grow where few have chosen to grow before.
Hello, my friend, I am Guthrie Chamberlain, your captain on our journey to increase wisdom and create a living legacy. Thank you for joining us today as we explore wisdom on our 2nd millennium of podcasts. This is Day 1093 of our trek, and it is time for our Philosophy Friday series. Each Friday we ponder some of the basic truths and mysteries of life and how they can impact us in creating our living legacy.
As we continue on this trek called life, sometimes we have questions about life, so our Friday trek is a time when we can “Ask Gramps.” Gramps will answer questions that you would like to ask your dad or granddad, but for whatever reason, this is not possible. No matter how old we are, I know that all of us would like the opportunity to ask dad or gramps questions about life in many areas.
We may mix it up a bit on our Friday episodes, but we will strive to keep them down to earth and enjoyable. If you have any questions that you would like to ask Gramps, please email them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
We often wonder how best to help others, but are often hesitant when other people look like they have caused their own problems by the choices we make. The fact is that we don’t know what others are struggling with and need to be very careful about judging others and more willing to help.
So the question for this week is…
“Hey, Gramps, I know that the Bible tells us to love your neighbor as yourself, but what does that really mean?”
Love Your Neighbor
· The Young Man
“Love your neighbor as yourself” is a commandment of Scripture but is sometimes difficult to interpret. How far does our obligation go? After all, who is our neighbor? Most of us don’t even know our literal neighbors! How can we love them? What do these words really mean, “to love our neighbor”? Listen to this tale that I came across recently, and decipher for yourself!
Early one evening, Jim, a very successful young businessman, took his new Mercedes XLR to the mall to buy his girlfriend a Christmas present. Jim saw on his GPS that his usual route was closed off, so he decided to chance it and go through the crazy-dangerous area of downtown to get there. Jim figured it was a better choice than having to go all the way around the city, thus adding two hours to his journey.
Well, the area he had to cut through was in the north end of the city, which was known for its gang warfare and biker bars. What Jim did not realize is that he had chosen the completely wrong time to go through as young gang members started to gather for their nightly escapades, and certain young ladies went outside to claim their piece of the sidewalk for their nightly business of selling themselves.
At a red light, Jim stopped and found himself in the middle of a gang war. The gang member from one group took a shot at his enemy across the street, and Jim in his Mercedes was the unfortunate barrier between them. The bullet barely grazed his shoulder, but it started to bleed quite a bit, he cried out loudly in sharp pain. Carefully he managed to pull over and stop the car.
Jim got out of the car, intending to go get help, but in his weakened state attracted the wrong kind of attention. A couple thugs looking for some quick drug money noticed his stupor, and decided it would be easier to rough him up, than try to break into a store. They also noticed his car keys were left in the car, and the car running close by, and put the two and two together. Soon, he was out of a car, his cell phone, and his wallet. They left him there battered, bruised, and still bleeding.
By the time the thugs drove off, Jim was in rough shape and lay smashed and dirty on the sidewalk. Jim managed to pull himself over to the edge of a building and lay there for what seemed like hours, but was only a few minutes. Jim was thrilled when he looked up and saw a pastor from a local church walk by. “Help me, Pastor!” he cried out feebly, but the pastor crossed over the other side of the sidewalk and did not even look his way.
· The Pastor
The pastor did not usually walk this way, but he was on his way to a board meeting for all the churches in his district. Unfortunately, it was in one of the rougher areas of town, and the pastor really wasn’t comfortable in this environment. The pastor wished he had been able to find parking closer, but he had been forced to walk several blocks to his destination.
The pastor saw the man lying against the building from a few feet away and felt nervous. Who knows what that man had been drinking in order to be that intoxicated? Often these people were dangerous and unpredictable. Just for security’s sake, he crossed over to the other side of the street. The pastor was already late for the meeting, and he didn’t want any complications. “I’m sure the police will deal with him,” he thought. “I need to get going.”
A faint wave of guilt washed over him, hoping this man would be okay, but the pastor quickly told himself that he wasn’t responsible for saving the world. “They have people for that,” he thought. “It’s not my calling.”
· The Church Lady
About a half hour later, a very frequent church-going lady walked by in a rush. She was carrying a Bible, and the Jim thought for sure she would help him. He tried to call out to her, but she did not help. Instead, she put her nose in the air and quickly walked away in horror and disgust.
The woman had lived on that street for years and had seen everything decline in the last decade. What had once been a hard-working, respectable part of town was now overrun by hookers, pimps, and drug addicts. Every day, she heard of more horrors on the nightly news, and it made her sick. She had once been proud to live here, but now she lived in fear. When she heard the young man call out to her, she was sure he would be begging for money to buy some more booze. She was tired of being lambasted by these welfare-dependent bums. She looked at him in disgust and anger at the way the country was going. She hurried home to her little apartment, safe with bars on the windows and a good security system. She knew she shouldn’t have gone out so late in the afternoon.
· The Biker
Just as Jim was almost passing into unconsciousness, he caught a glimpse of a rough looking man with a long beard and tattoos in a jean vest covered with decals and tight pants. Jim would have normally been afraid of this biker-looking man under different circumstance, but he had no fear left, only empty curiosity. In a stupor, Jim thought, “I wonder what kind of bike he rides.”
The man, who was dressed as a biker, parked his Harley-Davidson and decided to hoof it to the bar where he was going to relax for a few hours. He had had a hard week at the mill and was looking forward to forgetting his troubles with some good friends. Later, the biker thought he would grab a cab and pick up his bike in the morning. No one on the street would dare to touch it.
As the biker neared his destination, he noticed Jim who looked like he’d been beaten up pretty badly. Feeling sorry for him, he went over and gently felt his wrist. Yes, he was still breathing. “Are you okay?” he whispered, not wanting to startle him. “Not really,” Jim replied. Let me call you an ambulance…you look like you’re in pretty bad shape. The biker used his cell phone to call 911, waited with Jim until they arrived, and paid the ambulance driver the $500 fee. “Take my cell,” he told Jim, “and use it to call your Mom, Dad, and girlfriend about where you are. Here’s a couple hundred dollars to tide you over until you get all your I.D. straightened out. Sorry for what happened to you, man. Those guys were thugs.”
Jim left in the ambulance and went to the hospital, used the cell phone to call his family and friends, the police, and afterward called the biker to give him back his cell phone. “How can I repay you,” he asked. “Don’t worry about it,” the biker told him. “There are still a few good guys left in this world.”
· Who Is Your Neighbor?
Three people passed by our young man and saw three different things. One saw a dangerous drunk, another saw a lazy bum, and one saw a person that needed help. Who was the one that helped his neighbor?
It is said, love your neighbor as yourself. Who is your neighbor? Think about this tale and discover for yourself.
One day an expert in religious law stood up to test Jesus by asking him this question: “Teacher, what should I do to inherit eternal life?”
Jesus replied, “What does the law of Moses say? How do you read it?”
The man answered, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your strength, and all your mind.’ And, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’”
“Right!” Jesus told him. “Do this, and you will live!”
The man wanted to justify his actions, so he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”
Jesus replied with a story: “A Jewish man was traveling from Jerusalem down to Jericho, and he was attacked by bandits. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him up, and left him half dead beside the road.
“By chance, a priest came along. But when he saw the man lying there, he crossed to the other side of the road and passed him by. A Temple assistant walked over and looked at him lying there, but he also passed by on the other side.
“Then a despised Samaritan came along, and when he saw the man, he felt compassion for him. Going over to him, the Samaritan soothed his wounds with olive oil and wine and bandaged them. Then he put the man on his own donkey and took him to an inn, where he took care of him. The next day he handed the innkeeper two silver coins, telling him, ‘Take care of this man. If his bill runs higher than this, I’ll pay you the next time I’m here.’
“Now which of these three would you say was a neighbor to the man who was attacked by bandits?” Jesus asked.
The man replied, “The one who showed him mercy.”
Then Jesus said, “Yes, now go and do the same.”
Join us again next Friday for another question on our “Ask Gramps” episode. Our next trek is Mediation Monday when we will help you reflect on what is most important in life. So encourage your friends and family to join us and then come along on Monday for another day of Wisdom-Trek, Creating a Legacy.
If you would like to listen to any of the past 1092 daily treks or read the associated journals, they are all available at Wisdom-Trek.com. I encourage you to subscribe to Wisdom-Trek on your favorite podcast player so each day will be downloaded to you automatically.
Thank you for allowing me to be your guide, mentor, and most of all your friend as I serve you through the Wisdom-Trek podcast and journal.
As we take this trek together, let us always:
- Live Abundantly (Fully)
- Love Unconditionally
- Listen Intentionally
- Learn Continuously
- Lend to others Generously
- Lead with Integrity
- Leave a Living Legacy Each Day
I am Guthrie Chamberlain reminding you to Keep Moving Forward, Enjoy Your Journey, and Create a Great Day Everyday! See you on Monday!