“They refuse to understand, break their promises, are heartless, and have no mercy.”
Romans 1:31 NLT
The third negative example of people who consider it foolish to believe in God is the fact that they “are heartless“. The dictionary definition of being heartless is “displaying a complete lack of feeling or consideration“. We see that all the time in the news reports, for example with the scammers who swindle life savings out of pensioners, by tricking them into handing over their bank details. Such heartless people have no conscience, no awareness of the distress they cause to vulnerable people.
Jesus told a parable that demonstrated the heartless behaviour that even religious people can display to the disadvantaged and vulnerable. In Luke 10 He told the parable of a Jewish man who was mugged on a journey, and left injured by the side of the road. Two of his fellow countrymen came along but wouldn’t stop and help him. We read in Luke 10:31-32, “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”. Heartless behaviour surely? And what made it worse, these were “good” religious folks, probably pillars in their communities. Jesus continued in His story, with how a Samaritan man, of a race hated by the Jews, helped the injured man, one of the very people who hated him.
We pilgrims are not God-deniers of course, but we can become heartless if we become indifferent to the needs of those in the society around us. The Apostle James wrote to Christians about heartless behaviour. We read in James 2:15-16, “Suppose you see a brother or sister who has no food or clothing, and you say, “Good-bye and have a good day; stay warm and eat well”—but then you don’t give that person any food or clothing. What good does that do?” Being heartless can apply to big and little things in life. But the bottom line is that we do what we can to help those in our families and communities, responding to their heart-felt needs. The old lady down the street who is so lonely might need a visit or some house maintenance. The young single mum who might need help with her new baby. We cannot turn away from the heart-needs in our society. Jesus commanded us to be salt and light in our communities and looking out for those in need is one way be can be that. The Apostle John wrote in 1 John 3:17, “If someone has enough money to live well and sees a brother or sister in need but shows no compassion—how can God’s love be in that person?”
Our God is big-hearted. He cares for us. He loves us. And he wants to reach those who have denied Him – how else can He do that if it’s not through us pilgrims? It may be inconvenient for us at times, and it may seem to divert us from our journey to the Promised Land, but in some strange way God doesn’t mind. When we help others we bring a smile to His face. Because we’re showing His love to everyone, including His enemies.
Father God. We know You love the world and all the people within it, because You sent Jesus, bringing Your world into our world and giving us the opportunity to join You. We thank You for Calvary and all Jesus did for us. Amen.