Saturday, 21 July 2018

'Human thermostats' Don't just be a 'thermometer'; here's why

By Vincent Kituku

Unfortunately,  80  percent  of  us  are  like  a  thermometer  —  the  device  that  can  detect  whether  a  place  or  an  object  is  hot  or  cold.  However,  a  thermometer  does  nothing  to  change  the  temperature  in  any  way.  Thus,  if  the  hot  or  cold  temperature  is  negatively  affecting  the  place  or  objects,  the  condition  continues  to  get  worse  with  zero  possibility  of  the  thermometer  having  any  effect.

The  Levite  and  the  priest  described  in  Luke  10:25-37  were  “Human  Thermometers.”  They  saw  a  fellow  human  being  in  a  condition  what  warranted  attention,  and  if  unattended,  there  was  a  possibility  that  he  would  die.  But  they  did  absolutely  nothing.  They  went  on  with  their  plans  just  as  if  they'd  never  witnessed  a  man  in  pain.

Then  a  stranger,  a  Samaritan,  who  I  want  to  refer  as  a  “Human  Thermostat,”  saw  the  same  man  the  priest  and  Levite  had  seen.  And  he  acted  to  change  that  man’s  condition.  That’s  what  thermostats  do.  Detect  a  condition  and,  if  action  is  needed  to  rectify  it,  then  it acts!

At  times  we  notice  a  human  condition  that  needs  to  be  addressed,  but  for  a  myriad  of  reasons,  we  do  nothing.  There  are  many  speculations  why  the  priest  and  Levite  did  nothing.  They  could  have  been  on  a  tight  schedule.  They  could  have  been  afraid  that  they  would  endanger  their  own  lives  if  they  tried  to  help  that  man.  Or  maybe  they  were  riding  smaller  donkeys  with  no  room  for  extra  passengers.  

But  the  people  who  act  to  improve  human  conditions  also  have  personal  lives  to  attend  to  and  limited  resources  at  their  disposal.  The  Good  Samaritan  had  his  own  plans  and  also was  endangering  his  life.  He  could  have  been  attacked  by  the  same  thugs  who  robbed  and roughed  up  the  man  in  the  road.  

You  don’t  have  to  be  a  person  of  means  to  be  a  “Human  Thermostat.”  In  2  Kings  5,  we read  of  a  young  girl,  a  nameless  Israelite  slave  who  served  the  wife  of  a  Syrian  army  captain,  Naaman.  She  knew  Naaman  suffered  from  leprosy,  a  contagious  and  repulsive  condition  often  necessitating  quarantine.

The  only  reason  we  read  about  her  is  because  of  a  simple  sentence.  She  said  to  Naaman's  wife,  “If  only  my  master  would  see  the  prophet  who  is  in  Samaria.  He  would  cure  him  of  his  leprosy.”  Her  words,  given  that  she  was  a  slave,  could  have  easily  been  ignored.  But  when  people  are  suffering,  they  are  willing  to  try  whatever  resources  are  available.

Naaman  was  eventually  healed  of  his  leprosy  because  a  slave  girl  saw  a  fellow  human  being  —  not  the  man  whose  army  caused  her  to  leave  her  homeland  and  be  separated  from  her  family  —  suffering  and  she  did  something  about  it.  

People  do  nothing  to  improve  the  situation  of  others  because  they  consider  their  own  safety,  or  being  on  time,  or  their  limited  resources.  It  is  only  when  we  consider  and  do  something  about  the  suffering  of  our  fellow  human  beings  that  we  grow  spiritually  and  experience  fulfillment  that  cannot  be  provided  by  a  paycheck,  job  position  or  living  an  affluent  lifestyle.

Dr.  Vincent  Muli  Kituku,  award-winning  international  speaker  and  author,  is  the  founder  of  Caring  Hearts  and  Hands  of  Hope  and  Caring  Hearts  High  School  in  Kenya.  He  may  be  reached  at  (208)  376-8724  or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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