We live in a world of conflict and division, and there is no question that we humans harm one another. Sometimes that harm is intentional and malicious, while other times it is caused by ignorance or indifference, and then there are times—and I truly believe this—that we have no clue of the harm we cause or its impact.

In his book Three Simple Rules: A Wesleyan Way of Living, former United Methodist Bishop Rueben Job states:

To do no harm is a proactive response to all that is evil – all that is damaging and destructive to humankind and God’s good creation, and therefore, ultimately destructive to us….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 at any part of God’s creation. [1]

That’s a tall order, isn’t it?  It requires a certain amount of intentionality and giving up parts of ourselves that we might rather hold onto.  It also requires seeing ourselves and others as God sees us all and being willing to “bring healing instead of hurt; wholeness instead of division; and harmony with the ways of Jesus rather than with the ways of the world.” [2]

Can you imagine the kind of home life, work environment, country, and world we would have if each of us tried everyday to simply, “do no harm”? To say no harmful word, perform no hurtful deed, or savor any thought that might cause another injury?

It will require being mindful, forgiving, keeping the long view in mind, and—yes—practice, practice, practice. Even if we are not able to do great good, at least let us not be guilty of intentionally doing harm. It is the way of Jesus.

Grace and peace,
Pastor Cathy


[1] Rueben P. Job, Three Simple Rules A Wesleyan Way of Living, Abingdon Press, Nashville, 2007, p. 30-31.
[2] Ibid., pg. 31,