Resolute to Do No Harm

No Harm By: Susan Bea Good

Tommy and I talked yesterday, on the long drive to his house. He’s my oldest grandchild, and wise beyond his ten years. I have few opportunities to spend time with him, but this week provided one. He talked about current events in his life and the world, and ended with speculation on heaven’s location. As I listened to him, I wondered what he’ll be like when he’s grown. I’ve always told him that I’m sure he’ll be a “good Christian man.”

To my surprise Tommy revealed that he reads my blog. I reminded him of its purpose, “to encourage Christ-followers to see God’s Big Picture and be a part of it.” Before we arrived at his home I told him to be looking for my next post about “doing no harm.”

I’ve never been a person who intended to harm, but I know that I have. Doing no harm is harder than it may at first seem.

Harm can result from intentional behaviors such as gossip, lying, or physical attacks. But it can also be an unintentional result of ignorance or neglect.

It’s easy to start out with good intentions, lose those somewhere along the way, and end with very bad results. Even with the best motives it can be hard to know what to do…and a challenge to keep the focus pure.

I’ve witnessed cases of good intent degrade to bad outcome. These originate from both organizations and individuals, whose noble purposes changed when things got complicated.

“Helping” can often provide access to inside information, which may later be used to harm! How ironic is that?

Most common is the unintended harm done to individuals when “help” arrives. Many good people volunteer to serve the needy, not realizing that harm can be the result when human beings become “property” and are essentially trafficked between 501C3s, who themselves are needy, for cases to justify their fundraising.

The moral responsibility to do no harm includes charitable organizations, government policies, church outreaches, and individuals. If we truly want to help, we will operate in ways that encourage the needy to improve, and not continue forever in their weaknesses.

This may appear cold-hearted, but I don’t believe it is. If we don’t demand personal commitment, respect, and progress from those we serve, can we really say we are helping?…or are we doing more harm than good?

“Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to do it…do not plan evil…do not contend with a man for no reason…for the devious person is an abomination to the Lord, but the upright are in His confidence.” (Proverbs 3:27-32/ESV)

The purpose of this blog is to encourage Christ-followers to see God’s Big Picture and be a part of it.





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