Recently I began reading, Three Simple Rules: A Wesleyan Way of Living, by Rueben P. Job. The engaging, inspirational, small book of 77 pages posits three concepts for changing the world for good-by living a god-centered life. Those concepts are: Do No Harm; Do Good, and Love God. The Do No Harm spiritual discipline encapsulates the essence of the following Scriptures: Matthew 5:28; Philippians 4:8; Romans 12: 1-2, and I Corinthians 13: 4-7. It also inspires me to work on further developing my spiritual nature.
My initial reaction to the book was to read it through during a single sitting. However, about halfway through the first section I decided to spend time honing the Do No Harm discipline before reading the rest of the book. It has not been an easy task. When someone cuts me off in traffic, litters, doesn’t curb their dog, behaves rudely, or makes a mistake, etc.; I must consciously reject the negative thoughts about the person that come to my mind and resist the urge to say something mean about him/her. I do this by redirecting my thoughts to either I Corinthians 13:4-7 or Philippians 4:8. Since embarking upon the spiritual quest of doing no harm I cannot count the number of times in a day that I have had to redirect my thoughts. Consequently, my spiritual nature is developing.
As is often the case, at least with me, reading an inspirational book prompts me to think about many aspects of life. That is exactly what happened to me during the reading of Three Simple Rules: A Wesleyan Way of Living. I began to think about other books, aside from Scripture, that have profoundly impacted me. After prayer and meditation, I thought of making a list of those books to share with others. Such a list could consist of hundreds of books from multiple genres. But a long list would not be useful. Therefore, I have narrowed my list to ten books that have most profoundly impacted my ethical, moral, and spiritual development.
Most of the books highlight two simple truths. Christians are to proclaim the good news of the Gospel of Christ in accordance with Scripture: “For God so loved the world that He gave his only begotten Son so that whosoever will shall be saved.” John 3:16 The veracity of Christian witness is reflected in the way Christians interact with and treat others. “Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.” 1 John 4:7 & 8
Rabbi Harold Kushner’s book illustrates the universality of suffering and addresses the question that many ask, why do bad things happen to “good” people?
- My Utmost for His Highest Oswald Chambers
- When Bad Things Happen to Good People Rabbi Harold Kushner
- The Cross and the Switchblade David Wilkerson and others
- Please Make Me Cry Cookie Rodriguez
- In His Steps Charles Sheldon
- The Hiding Place Corrie ten Boom
- The Cost of Discipleship Dietrich Bonhoffer
- The Desert Fathers
- The 30-Day Experiment
- Three Simple Rules: A Wesleyan Way of Living RuebenPhillip Job
- (One of the books I am currently reading.)