Is Society Becoming Heartless?

Is Society Becoming Heartless? Surveillance cameras capture many examples of cold, heartless unwillingness to help those in need.

Surveillance cameras capture many examples of cold, heartless unwillingness to help those in need.

Jesus warned that in the end times the love of many would grow cold. What is causing the increasing apathy and desensitization and the decreasing compassion?

Last July a man was struck by a vehicle near a bus stop in Arlington, Virginia. The surveillance camera showed many people walking by the man without offering help. When help did arrive, the man was already dead (

Unfortunately, events like this are becoming more commonplace in society.

In 2011 a security camera video caught another terrible scene. A Chinese toddler was wandering in a narrow street and was hit by a van. The van stopped, then moved on while the rear tires slowly rolled over the young girl’s legs. She lay there screaming, but many people just walked by.

Minutes later, another van ran over the toddler without slowing down. People continued to walk by unfazed, and motorcyclists rode around her barely moving body.

Finally, some 10 minutes later, a woman came to her aid and got help.

And in 2010 a homeless man in Queens, New York, came to the aid of a woman who was being attacked. He was stabbed, and for over an hour he lay in a pool of blood as nearly 25 people walked by. One person even stopped and took a picture with his cell phone, while another stooped down, shook her head at him, then walked away.

Some 80 minutes later firefighters finally arrived and found the man dead. A woman who lived nearby later asked, “How can you be so heartless?” (New York Post).

Obviously, if we had been the one in need, we would have greatly appreciated someone showing compassion to us.

Why are we becoming heartless?

Nearly 2,000 years ago, Jesus Christ foretold that things like these would happen in the last days. And even more, He tells why they would happen.

“And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold” (Matthew 24:12).

The more we reject God’s laws, the more heartless we will become (2 John 6).

Jesus Christ said that God’s laws—the 10 Commandments—can be summarized into two great commandments. The first is to love God with all our being, and the second is to love our neighbor as ourselves (Matthew 22:36-40).

The Good Samaritan

Jesus Christ told a lawyer a powerful parable about a Good Samaritan, showing how we should care for the needs of others.

In the parable a Jewish man is attacked by thieves and left half dead. Some of his own respected countrymen go to great lengths to avoid helping him, even crossing to the other side of the street (Luke 10:30-32).

Then a Samaritan—someone many Jews despised—stops, sees the need, has compassion and goes to great lengths to help this stranger (verses 33-35).

Careful reading of this parable shows that the Samaritan lost more than a day’s wages caring for this man. This Samaritan put the hurt man’s immediate needs above his own.

At the end of the parable, Jesus told the lawyer—and you and me—to “go and do likewise” (verse 37).

What God expects of us

If you or I saw the hurt people lying on the streets, would we have put our interests on hold to help them (or, if our safety was at risk, to at least get them help)? In other words, would we have been Good Samaritans?

God’s laws are laws of love. The more we keep the 10 Commandments, the more compassionate we will be toward others. But the more we neglect them, the more heartless we will be.

Let’s not let lawlessness be part of our lives. Let’s take time to study God’s 10 Commandments. Keeping them is good for us and those around us—because it prevents our love and concern for others from growing cold.

Take the time to read the article “The 10 Commandments for Today” and related articles on the Life, Hope & Truth website.

About the Author

Tim Groves

Tim Groves

Tim Groves attends the Jefferson, Georgia, congregation of the Church of God, a Worldwide Association, where he serves as a deacon. 

He has been married to his wife, Teresa, for over 30 years. Together, they have two daughters and two sons and live in South Carolina. They moved there from Ohio in 1997 to flee the cold northern winters and allow him to do the things he really enjoys, like roaming though automobile junkyards looking for hidden treasures from times long past.

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