Thursday, December 7 2023 - 6:28 PM

The Seventh-day Adventist Church in the Pacific Southwest

Choosing to love or to hate
Photo by Dreamstime

Do No Harm

Hate melts away when we consider that each person wrestles with their own brokenness and pain.

The Individuals we love to hate often cover up enormous amounts of pain and loss. All of the bravadoes and buffoonery in the world cannot make our personal losses and heartaches go away–even if we are Donald Trump.

Who am I to hold a grudge against those who have injured my pride or are opposed to what I believe?

My mission is not to try and coerce the world or anyone in it into seeing things my way. Rather, I am here to effect change though the subtleties of influence and compassion. I’m here to reflect the beauty of grace and to shine a light upon God’s goodness! He is the One who transforms and changes hearts! Like the sunflowers in the field, my face is turned toward the Son of righteousness for mercy and forgiveness.

Compassion, Blessing and Healing

​When we are in tune with what God values, our lives stand out in bold contrast to the dysfunctions of the world. We don’t have to tell people we’re different because it is written all over our lives. The challenge is that some may not believe we are real. Compassion scares those who are used to a steady diet of bigotry and hate.

Part of the Hippocratic oath that Physicians take, reads, “I will use treatment to help the sick according to my ability and judgment, but never with a view to injury and wrong-doing. Neither will I administer a poison to anybody when asked to do so, nor will I suggest such a course. Into whatsoever houses I enter, I will enter to help the sick, and I will abstain from all intentional wrong-doing and harm, especially from abusing the bodies of man or woman, bond or free.” The idea of not harming others is worthy of emulation. In our interactions with people each day our goal should be only to bless and heal.

Dignity and Respect

In the United States the 2016 election cycle was a crazy ride. Since then a lot has happened that is troubling. If we find ourselves at odds with some of President Trump’s policies and agenda, we can lash out and resort to name-calling, or we can take the high road and stay focused on the issues without denigrating the person. Otherwise we become like those who are completely unprincipled. We may not win every argument or battle, yet in the end, if we treat each one with compassion, dignity and respect (even when we think it isn’t deserved), we are richer for it!

Imagine yourself as an actor or actress on a stage. Do you know your part? Do you know your lines? When the time comes for you to act, will it be with spontaneity and grace, or will you miss your cue?

Jesus said:  “In everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets” (Matthew 7:12, NIV).

As followers of Jesus, the script we’ve been handed never instructs us to use harmful words, divisive speech, or manipulative measures to promote what God cares about.

Simply, we are called to be LIKE Jesus.

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If you enjoyed this, you may also enjoy A Revolution of Compassion 

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About Rich DuBose

Rich DuBose

is director of Church Support Services for the Pacific Union Conference

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