Session 6

What to do when you see a need

From Chasing Purpose: A 27-Day Devotional

In 1968, two scientists named John Darley and Bibb Latane launched a series of experiments determining how an uninvolved bystander would react if confronted with another person’s emergency. For example, how would neighbors react if they witnessed another neighbor’s beating and murder?

Over the next 10 years, their tests consistently showed bystanders would rarely check on a victim, much less report the crime. It seems impossible that humans could act this way, but the Bible records a similar story in the parable of the good Samaritan.

A Jewish traveler is beaten, robbed, and left on the side of the road. Other travelers pass the hurting man, ignoring him and his pain. He remains in this state until a Samaritan man passes. The Samaritan tends to the man’s wounds and puts him in a hotel for the night. These actions are even more impressive when you consider the hatred that existed between Jews and Samaritans.

If we’re being honest, many of us are more like the priest and the Levite than the good Samaritan. We avoid eye contact with the homeless man in need. We call the pastor when a friend is grieving. We send letters to the city council about litter on our street.

Imagine how we could impact our communities if we refused to pass a need without addressing it. Each of us has been equipped with the hope of the Gospel and the power of the Holy Spirit. We have everything we need to step into someone’s hurt and make a difference.

What happens to the people we help, or what they do with our help, is not up to us. But it is our responsibility to address needs when we see them. When we do, the church becomes the city on a hill the Bible describes, pointing others to a new way to live in Christ (Matthew 5:14).

Reflect:

  • What are some of the thoughts that stop you from stepping in when you see a need?
  • Pastor Andy Stanley once said, “Do for one what you wish you could do for all.” How could that idea change your approach to meeting others’ needs?
  • What’s one way you can serve someone today?



6 of 27

Devotionals From This Study

to Discover More

Session 1

Jesus came to serve

Jesus washed smelly, dirty, calloused feet with His own holy hands. At this point, the disciples are prepared for Jesus to become the mil...

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Session 2

Everyone matters, including you

The human body is complex. Our 78 organs work individually and collectively. A dozen distinct systems coexist seamlessly.God created ever...

Read Devotional

Session 3

We are set free to serve others

Imagine you had nothing to eat for weeks. Your hunger would be so overwhelming that it would consume all of your thoughts. If you saw the...

Read Devotional

Session 4

What does God ask of you?

Have you ever known someone who could complicate even the simplest task? Christians are some of the best at this.When God provides simple...

Read Devotional

Session 5

God doesn’t need a thing

We like to be needed. From time to time, church leaders might even say, “We need you to serve.”There is some truth to that statement. Kid...

Read Devotional

Session 6

What to do when you see a need

In 1968, two scientists named John Darley and Bibb Latane launched a series of experiments determining how an uninvolved bystander would ...

Read Devotional

Session 7

Why you need to let others into your spiritual life

Polite Southern mamas everywhere teach us that faith is a private matter. It’s a staple of every etiquette class, but far from biblical.P...

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Session 8

The reward for honesty is worth the risk

Don’t you just love the honesty of children? If you want to really know the truth about your appearance, ask a 6-year-old.Kids are brutal...

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Session 9

How to leave darkness behind

Plants grow and change every day. God has put miraculous systems in place whereby plants put forth new leaves, bear fruit, and spread dee...

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Session 10

Doing this will stunt your spiritual growth

“Eat your vegetables and you’ll grow up big and tall.”“Don’t drink coffee or you’ll stunt your growth.”Remember those sayings from when y...

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Session 11

The best way to know if you’re growing in your faith

Every year, kids go to the doctor for a check-up. The doctor assesses their health by measuring their height and weight and asking questi...

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Session 12

Why it matters that you know who you are

As children, many of us learned about the fascinating process that takes place when a caterpillar morphs into a butterfly. At the right t...

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Session 13

The refining process isn’t easy, but it’s always for our good

You’ve probably heard the saying, “God loves you just the way you are, but He loves you too much to let you stay that way.”Although it’s ...

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Session 14

How to know if you’re growing in your faith

All of us remember what it’s like to be a teenager. Late nighters. Too much pizza. We’re growing like a weed, and we look like one. Bags ...

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Session 15

Is your life producing fruit?

In John 15, Jesus compares Himself to a vine and us to its branches. When we abide in Him, our lives produce fruit.Abide isn’t a word you...

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Session 16

How much Jesus do you really want?

What would do if Jesus knocked at your door? Would you swing the door open and invite Him in, messy house and all. Or, would you hide beh...

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Session 17

This is what Jesus invites you into

Think about the last invitation you received. Did the size and shape of the envelope catch you by surprise? Did you drop the rest of the ...

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Session 18

Are you giving up too soon?

Jesus tells us to go and preach the good news to all creation. All creation. As in everyone, even those we assume won’t be receptive.Have...

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Session 19

How to never be hungry again

As soon as the “Coming Soon” sign went up, people started talking. Then the day came. Freddy’s Frozen Custard & Steakburgers opened, and ...

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Session 20

Your position is not your purpose

From an early age, adults ask us, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” As we get on in high school, the question becomes, “What are...

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Session 21

Why your end goal matters

Knowing how we want something to end affects the way we approach it from the beginning. Losing 10 pounds in three months means making wis...

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Session 22

What to do when your plans fail

Have you ever had your plans fail? Have you ever made plans and had them changed on you at the last second? Have you ever planned somethi...

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Session 23

Are you working for a purpose?

It’s January. If your house is like many others, the newness of your family’s Christmas presents is long gone. The batteries have died in...

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Session 24

Change Your "Amen" to "I’m in!"

The book of Nehemiah takes place after Babylon defeated Israel destroying the city of Jerusalem and exiling God’s people to Babylon. Time...

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Session 25

There can be purpose even in the pain

It’s a struggle to believe God is for us when we’re drowning in pain. Even Jesus felt abandoned in the midst of His suffering, saying, “M...

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Session 26

Isn’t following Jesus supposed to be easy?

Have you ever bought a piece of furniture or a new toy, and thought, “This shouldn’t take long to put together.” But then you open it and...

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Session 27

Why you shouldn’t give up

Ever been so tired you wanted to quit everything? Walk out of your office or classroom. Let the deadline pass without turning anything in...

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