Most books of quotes attribute some quotes to Seneca. Tragically, most fail to identify rather the particular quote is for Seneca The Elder or his son, Seneca The Younger. The younger tutored the Roman Emperor, Nero, a case of noble tutoring being in vain! The Elder knew Augustus, Tiberius and Caligula, the first two mentioned biblically relative to Jesus, and Caligula during the earliest days of the church.
Here’s a quote from Seneca The Elder that embodies the theme of most of my ministry:
“It is wrong not to give a hand to the fallen, this law is universal to the whole human race.”
Jesus demonstrated this law of human compassion in His compassionate treatment of the Samaritan whom Jesus called good due to his helping a fallen man. Commenting on this Don Talafous posits a test of Christian Compassion with this question; “Whom would you not help?”
There’s more than one way for a human to be “fallen” than to fall among thieves. Anyone that is beaten verbally and kicked around, one who is “fallen” according to the whims of the group, is in a sense, “fallen.” So whom wouldn’t you help? Good question isn’t it.
Paul gave instruction on this Christian act in Galatians 6:1,
“Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted.”
Most of Galatians 6 deals with help being given by spiritual people to anyone who has tripped along the way. If we who are spiritual are to give aid to those overtaken in a sin of some sort, how much more so to those are the victims of the pharisaical zeal of self-righteous brethren?
It’s my well-formed and I believe, biblical perspective, that a spiritually motivated touch of tenderness will go much farther in helping someone up than all the kicking and back stabbing in the entire creation. Fanny Crosby’s Poem carries this message, hopefully to our hearts:
“Down in the human heart, crushed by the tempter,
Feelings lie buried that grace can restore.
Touched by a loving heart, wakened by kindness,
Cords that are broken will vibrate once more.”
A friend going through it said to me,” Larry, my need for healthy community is where I am.”
Those who have fallen into sin, need a hand to be sure. Those who for some reason, have fallen out of favor, also need a hand, a healthy community of the saints, to lend a hand. As Seneca said, and Jesus demonstrated, this action is a universal law!
Copyright © 2016 Larry Lilly
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