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Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Do You Have a Back Scratcher?

Do you have a back scratcher? If you do, you know how handy it is for relieving an itch that you can’t seem to reach. But another kind of back scratcher exists that all of us might be better off not having. It’s the human back scratcher, the person who says in effect, “I’ll scratch your back if you’ll scratch mine.” In other words, he will do something nice for you if you will do something nice for him.

Too many Christians are back scratchers. They play up to someone who is able to do them a favor. They seldom go out of their way to do something nice for someone who cannot repay the favor. The Good Samaritan was not a back scratcher. He rescued a wounded traveler who had been robbed, stripped of his clothes, beaten, and left half dead on the road that led from Jerusalem to Jericho. He didn’t even check to see if the poor man had medical insurance. He bandaged his wounds, poured on oil and wine to soothe the inflammation and fight infection, and then he put the “patient” on his own donkey, transported him to an inn, and took care of him. The next day he paid the innkeeper handsomely to take care of him, and promised to reimburse the innkeeper later for any additional expenses.

Jesus commended the Good Samaritan for his selfless actions and singled him out as a worthy example to follow (Luke 10:36, 37).

So if our backs itch, let’s buy a brush, but brush off any thoughts of human back scratching. Surely we can do something neighborly for someone today who isn’t able to repay the favor.