By Reuben P. Job
DO NO HARM, DO GOOD, STAY IN LOVE WITH GOD
DO NO HARM
It is a challenging path to walk. Yet even a casual reading of the gospel suggests that Jesus taught and practiced a way of living that did no harm."
As did John Wesley and those in the early Methodist movement before me, I too will determine every day that my life will always be invested in the effort to bring healing instead of hurt; wholeness instead of division, and harmony with the ways Jesus rather than with the ways of the world.
To do no harm means that I will be on guard so that all my actions and even my silence will not add injury to another of God's children or to any part of God's creation.
I can no longer gossip...speak disparagingly...manipulate the facts diminish those who do not agree with me and must honor each as a child of God.
When I am determined to do no harm to you, I lose my fear of you; and I am able to see you and hear you more clearly.
When we agree that we will not harm those we disagree, conversation, dialogue and discovery of new insight become possible.
We discover that we stand on common ground, inhabit a common and precious space, share a common faith, feast at a common table, and have an equal measure of God's unlimited love.
To do good is a serious challenge from Wesley and a direct command from Jesus. "do good to those who hate you..." (Luke 6: 27-28
It will mean that the common good will be my first thought and what is good for me will become a secondary thought.
And the reward for my doing good is not cancelled or diminished by the response of my acts of goodness. I will have the reward of knowing I did what was right and pleasing to God.
STAY IN LOVE WITH GOD
Only living in the healing, loving, redeeming, forming, and guiding light and presence of God will bring the redemption, healing, transformation and guidance that is so desperately needed.
This simple rule will be constructed differently for each of us because each of us is unique. But here are some common essentials for all of us, such as a daily time for prayer; reflection upon and study of Scripture; regular participation in the life of a Christian community, including weekly worship and regular participation in the Lord's Supper; doing some act of goodness or mercy, and taking opportunities to share with and learn from each other who also seek to follow the way of Jesus.
For from such a life of love for God will flow and goodness and love of God to the world.