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Criticism Against Good Samaritans



The debate surrounding Kent Brantly, the American physician serving in Liberia who became infected with Eboli, is representative of the dilemmas faced by many of us who are lead by good intentions. “Why wasn’t he taking care of his own people back home?” “It’s irresponsible to put himself and his family in such a dangerous place.” “All those resources spent on rescuing him could have been used to assist other people who are not so privileged.” And perhaps the most painful of all, “He really wasn’t doing much good over there anyway.”


You may be personally engaged in any number of virtuous ministries or missions. How do you respond when you receive parallel criticism? First, find comfort in the fact that “No good deed goes unpunished.” It’s a known occupational hazard that those who do good will be regularly criticized. Second, remember that ours is an enormously large world filled with infinite needs. In selecting which ones to particularly intervene we must assess our personal passions and resources. No one else can do this for us, and everyone one else must respect our decisions. And finally, you may be especially heartened as I am by this promise from Matthew 25 beginning in verse 31, “I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me…”

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