Do no harm

September 15th, 2020

John Wesley sums up Christian discipleship in three simple rules: Do no harm, do good and stay in love with God. While this sounds simple enough, violence and harm continue to be at the forefront of our news stories. Violent behavior is also prevalent in our communities, playing on our streaming devices and even taking place in our homes. Violence is all around us. We live in a time when people in our nation idolize weapons and hostile forces. 

Violence begets violence

Just last month in Kenosha, WI, police shot Jacob Blake, a black man, seven times in the back — now he’s paralyzed. During the protests that followed this incident, teenager Kyle Rittenhouse killed two protesters and injured another. Media on the far left labeled Rittenhouse a militiaman and a white supremacist terrorist, while media on the far right deemed him as an American hero acting in self-defense. There’s no direct evidence yet of Rittenhouse belonging to an extremist group. However, it’s clear from his social-media feed that he idolized guns and law enforcement. When he saw the protests and riots erupting in Kenosha, he headed straight toward the violence carrying an AR-15-style rifle and claiming his purpose was to help protect businesses and people. There’s much we still don’t know about this unfolding story. We do know this young man claimed he was there to help people, but instead went to bed that night after having taken people’s lives. 

Making idols 

The messages we receive about what is good and what is right is corrupted when we make idols of law enforcement and weapons as Rittenhouse did. Perhaps this is why our third simple rule is “stay in love with God.” When we prioritize the love of God above all else, we will seek to do no harm and choose to do good by turning away from violence — the same way Jesus always did. 

Question of the day: What violence has occurred in your community or near where you live?
Focal scriptures: Matthew 26:47-56; Psalm 33:13-22; Zechariah 9:9-10

For a complete lesson on this topic visit LinC.

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