i read a book this afternoon (short little book - 77 pages), and just wanted to reflect on it a moment. its called three simple rules: a wesleyan way of living and is by rueben p. job. the title is a reference to john wesley's three rules for living:
1. do no harm (avoiding evil of every kind)
2. do all the good you can to everyone you can
3. stay in love with God (by keeping the ordinances of God).
in a bit simpler fashion they are:
1. do no harm,
2. do good, and
3. stay in love with God.
while these are simple and easily understandable rules for living, they are, of course, deep wells of practice and much harder to live than to understand. however, i found this little book really helpful for shaping the daily walk of a disciple in the midst of an increasingly complex world.
if i could abide by the rule "do no harm," i would first have to understand myself and others as truly beloved children of God that i do not need to control. i would then be disarmed and equipped. i would be disarmed of the weapons of control and manipulation and would instead be equipped with the tools of listening and understanding.
if i could abide by the rule "do good," i would first have to understand my life as a gift to be given to others, not as an entitled commodity to be protected and served. then i could open up my tight fists and give to others rather than cling to self. it would require an attitude of abundance rather than scarcity.
if i could abide by the rule "stay in love with God," i would first have to commit to a practice of spiritual disciplines (what wesley meant by ordinances) that would keep me in touch with God. then my prayer, bible study, worship, communion with others, and ministry would be open channels of relationship between my loving Abba and me: ways to stay in love.
forget abiding, if i could just organize my life around trying to live this way, i think i would see some radically different results. i want to live this way. i really do.
grace and peace,