March 12, 2019

Do No Harm

March 12, 2019


1 John 2:1-6
This weekend’s reading: Mark 14:43-52

Do No Harm. It is simple, uncomplicated. Even a child can understand what it means, and it is applicable to everyone at every stage of life.” [Rueben Job, Three Simple Rules, p.21] And, of course, we do not start the day with a list of ‘harms’ in which we plan to participate, but somehow, little ‘harm-lets’ slip into the day. Suppose that ‘harming no one’ became your Lenten practice?  Job lists some reasons that this might be a good idea:
What is appealing about do no harm?

  • It can provide a safe place to stand while the hard and faithful work of discernment is done.  When we agree that we will not harm those with whom we disagree, conversation, dialogue and discovery of new insight become possible.
  • When our words and actions are guarded by this first simple rule, we have time and space to think about consequences before a word is spoken or an action is taken.” 

When our conversation contains ‘no harm’ but is assertive [constructive to self and others], we…

  • No longer gossip
  • No longer speak disparagingly about others
  • No longer manipulate facts
  • No longer diminish those who do not agree with us
  • Honor everyone as a child of God


  • Choose someone, your spouse, your friend, your family member and say: “I will do you no harm during this season of Lent”. 
  • At the end of each day, think about how you felt, thought and behaved in relation to this person. What changed? What did you learn?

God of love and mercy, invite us each day to consider ‘harm’, whether to ourselves or to others. Make us aware of Jesus’ qualities of life and make them the very center of our own.  We are yours and we ask you for grace to live as your faithful children.  Amen.