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Driving While Doing No Harm

22 May

For the past two weeks I have consciously practiced the three spiritual disciplines, do no harm, do good, and stay in love with God, that Rueben P. Job outlines in his book: Three Simple Rules: A Wesleyan Way of Living.  The “do no harm” discipline is the most difficult for me to master because it has more to do with thinking than acting. The work for this discipline begins in the heart and mind and is reflected by attitude and in actions.

According to Job, just the idea of thinking evil about another person is a form of harm. That concept is almost mind-boggling. Yet it is perfectly in line with Jesus’ own words as record in the Gospel of Matthew 5:28, “But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.”   Of course the gist of Job’s position and of the Gospel message is that actions are a manifestation of what is taking, or has already taken, place in the mind. Do no harm speaks to the heart of authentic godly living.  Do no harm goes beyond abstaining from causing physical harm. It asserts that to do no harm means not to even think negative thoughts about others.

It is the not thinking negative thoughts about others that has presented the greatest challenge to me. First and foremost, when driving I find myself easily frustrated with other drivers. That frustration causes me to think bad thoughts about them. I say inappropriate things (in my head or in the privacy of my car) like, “Hurry up slow poke,” or “move over stupid.” I’ve even found myself saying, “Just get off the road stupid” or “Please move out of my way. Pull over!”  There are times when I am so frustrated with other drivers that I throw up my hands while driving. I am shocked at the number of times in a day that I call other drivers stupid or dumb or wish to hurry them out of my way.

Until I started practicing doing no harm my behavior towards other drivers was shameful and without remorse.  However, since I began conscientiously trying not to do harm,, when I catch myself becoming frustrated with other drivers I redirect my thoughts by repenting  when I linger on a negative thought about another driver. Then I recite Philippians 4:8, “…think about whatever is true, think about whatever is noble, think about whatever is right, think about whatever pure, think about whatever is lovely, think about whatever is admirable, if anything is excellent or praiseworthy think about it.”

I’m changing my strategy a little. Instead of simply citing the Scripture, I will try saying things like: “Thank you God for the slow driving person in front of me. By driving below the speed limit the driver in front of me is obeying the law and he or she may actually save lives.

At the end of thirty days perhaps I will no longer drive and do harm because I will think only positive thoughts about fellow drivers..

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2 Comments

Posted by on May 22, 2014 in Inspirational

 

2 responses to “Driving While Doing No Harm

  1. Gloria Bishop

    May 26, 2014 at 2:18 am

    I do that often too!!:-( I try to redirect my thoughts as well.. sometime it works sometimes it doesn’t .. I think of a semon I heard before Mother’s Day. He said don’t make fun of or judge other people because they do things differently !! He says that everyone is DIFFERENT. So now I say to myself that they are DIFFERENT I have to accept that!!!!!

     
    • Reflections

      May 27, 2014 at 3:28 pm

      I have been an impatient driver. Praise God for giving me the grace to slow down and to see the blessings in driving slower. that is the lesson for me. SLOW DOWN AND APPRECIATE SLOWER DRIVERS THEY MAY PREVENT AND ACCIDENT!

       

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