Mon April 29-Do No Harm

Colossians 3:1-11(CEB)

Your life hidden in Christ

Therefore, if you were raised with Christ, look for the things that are above where Christ is sitting at God’s right side. Think about the things above and not things on earth. You died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with him in glory. So put to death the parts of your life that belong to the earth, such as sexual immorality, moral corruption, lust, evil desire, and greed (which is idolatry). The wrath of God is coming upon disobedient people because of these things. You used to live this way, when you were alive to these things. But now set aside these things, such as anger, rage, malice, slander, and obscene language. Don’t lie to each other. Take off the old human nature with its practices 10 and put on the new nature, which is renewed in knowledge by conforming to the image of the one who created it. 11 In this image there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcised nor uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave nor free, but Christ is all things and in all people.


The first of John Wesley’s three General Rules of the Methodist Church is, “Do no harm.” While this rule sounds simple, it’s not easy because we fail by doing harm each day. . In fact, Wesley has a longer, very specific list of ‘what not to do.’ A few of the practices he mentioned are: ”Not taking the Lord’s name in vain, evil speech, drunkenness, fighting, quarreling, doing to others as we should not want others to do to us,” and the one that has me pondering, “doing what we know is not for the glory of God.” Wesley is very specific of what he views constitute harm to ourselves and others. We are not to cause harm by engaging in these practices. Wesley knew if these behaviors weren’t listed, then people would not see how these behaviors harmed others and did not reflect new life in Christ.

Like Wesley, Paul the writer of Colossians, makes a very specific list about what constitutes harm to both ourselves and
others. Because “If” we have been “raised with Christ”, then we are children of the Kin-dom of God, our present reality. The way we live our life now is to reflect our new life in Christ. In the same way we would take off an old dirty garment and put on a new spotless garment, so we must leave behind our old sinful ways and live a life of love and service following Jesus. When we do this, we put on our new nature in Christ, and we reflect the image of God in the world. Christ showed us the image of God by living a life of love, mercy, forgiveness, compassion, justice and peace. When we
do this, all differences that divide us from each other will fall away, revealing only the love of Christ, “for Christ is in all things and all people.”

Jeneene Reduker

For Pondering & Prayer

Paul’s “If” in verse one is a really big “If” because every thing flows from our salvation, our eternal life through Christ. Paul says that “our life is hidden with Christ in God.” We are redeemed and loved abiding in Christ, and we are resurrected children of God, living out our new life in Christ, in the Kin-dom of God. Often we’re so busy trying to do good, that we aren’t focused on trying to do no harm. Today, let’s try to follow the first rule of Wesley’s General Rules, “Do no harm.” This is a simple rule, but it may not be easy. Look for ways our actions may be doing harm to ourselves and others.

Prayer: Holy and Loving God, make us aware of the harm we may be doing. Help us to become more like Jesus. Amen.

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