Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Rule One Summary: Do No Harm

The first of Wesley's general rules is DO NO HARM. Look at Wednesday's preview blog for more info.

Lets look at Genesis to see our situation. We are broken/fallen/alienated from God, from each other, from the creation, and from ourselves. And these are all the areas in which we need God's redemption; God's salvation. We must consider each of these areas and strive to do nor harm in each of them.

Consider these Scriptures and what they say about how we should live; how we should do no harm.

Matthew 5.21-26
Matthew 5.38-48
Ephesians 4.17-32
Romans 12.17-21
Romans 13.8-14

How does this work? How can it work? This rule is very broad. How can you do know harm? In fact it is so broad and wide-ranging that we can be overwhelmed by it. We can be discouraged by the enormity, and the difficulty, and the ambiguous nature of the task.

Where do we start?

A-You must start with a decision, a commitment: I am going to follow the way of Jesus. I am going to surrender my life to God.

B-You must practice regular times of examination.

C-You must listen to the Spirit.

D-You must sensitize yourself to the Spirit through reading the Word.

E-You must make room for the Spirit with silence and reflection.

F-You must ask forgiveness for harm you have done, and make amends where you can.

G-But you must start now to stop digging yourself into a deeper hole.

The issue is finding a way to listen to the Spirit's guidance in how to do no harm. Regular times of reflection and self-examination will facilitate hearing God's guidance.

Here are some tools that can help you:

A-Ignatian Examen


C-Spending time in reflection and silence [link to contemplatio program]

D-Regular reading of Scripture
Pray slowly through the phrases of the Scriptures and documents below. Allow time for the Spirit to bring thoughts to your mind as you pray
. The Lord's Prayer, the Ten Commandments, and the Beattitudes or on the Examination handout above.
E-The Lord's Prayer

F-The Ten Commandments

G-The Beattitudes

H-Baptismal covenant
I-covenant prayer

Spend time this week in reflection. Make an appointment and use one of the methods above for self-examination. What is God leading you to change? How is God impressing you to do no harm?

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