Three Simple Rules: Do All the Good You Can

. 4 min read

Nov 2018, Christ Mountain Top
the Psalm, Psalm 82
Luke 10.25-37
Micah 6.1-8
simple rules are what John Wesley described as a way to build a “form of
godliness” while seeking its power (2 Timothy 3.5). The United Societies were
company of men having the
form and
seeking the
power of
(pic, sidewalk, me and Zoe)
      Context of community
rule, “Do no harm.”
Actually a critical word to learn:  
      Stay focused on our personal or corporate
      Define who we are and clarify our
      Group at Roberta’s – breaking her vase of
glass flowers
powerful word in this rule is ALL.
      All the time, all the people, all the ways,
ALL the good
Friedman’s Fables,
rope, bridge, “My life is in your hands”
– the Christian thing to do is not to judge but to do good
      Do not forget the “no”
      We are to do GOOD, not necessarily solve
people’s problems
the good. It is not always what the
other person defines as good! Compassion, interest, treating someone as a
person to be loved not a problem to be solved.
      Bill Easum, story of homebound woman and
potted plants

to matters of justice. Not law and order justice, but the justice of the
kingdom of God where good news is preached to the poor and deliverance to those
in prison. Law and order is good, but the justice of the prophets, like Micah,
is about addressing systemic issues such as racism and sexism and classism, the
kinds of systems that privilege white dudes like me at the expense of folks whose skin is a bit darker or who grew up
with another language or who are stuck in an unsafe factory working at less
than a living wage.
      John Wesley – abolition of slavery, prison
reform, education of children, medical care. Wesley offered, “The Gospel of
Christ knows of no religion, but social; no holiness, but social holiness.”
What kind of trouble would John Wesley get into today? Prison reform?
Immigration reform? Public housing and public transportation? The biblical
vision of justice, “do justice,” is a huge
aspect of what Wesley meant when he said, “Do all the good you can.”
practices (in the worship program insert):
      Practicing social justice
      Practicing growing in the grace of giving
ALL the good you can.
By doing good; by being in every kind merciful after
power; as they have opportunity, doing good of every possible
and, as far as possible, to all men:
To their
bodies, of the ability which God giveth, by giving
food to
the hungry, by clothing the naked, by visiting or helping
them that
are sick or in prison.
To their
souls, by instructing, reproving, or exhorting all we
have any
intercourse with; trampling under foot that enthusiastic
that “we are not to do good unless
our hearts be free to it.
By doing
good, especially to them that are of the household
of faith
or groaning so to be; employing them preferably to others;
one of another, helping each other in business, and so
much the
more because the world will love its own and them only.
By all
possible diligence and frugality, that the gospel be not
running with patience the race which is set before them,
themselves, and taking up their cross daily; submitting
to bear
the reproach of Christ, to be as the filth and offscouring of
world; and looking that men should say all manner of evil of
falsely, for the Lord’s sake.
is so much about this that we simply know.
We know what we need to do. We’re no stranger to it. We know the good because
God has shown it to us. “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart,
and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and
your neighbor as yourself” (Luke 10.27).
      So, when you find someone beat up and left
for dead, you act. And it is more important to do that than to do your holy
work, pastor. JESSE asking to go out on Friday.
is so much about this that we simply know.
We know what we need to do. We’re no stranger to it. We know the good because
God has shown it to us. “He has told you, O man, what is good.” This does not
mean that there are no situations where we need some help discerning, just that
most situations aren’t as complicated as we make out.
      I’m tired and irritable. I don’t want to
be kind right now. I’m anxious and on edge, so don’t push it. I do a lot of
good and deserve special treatment. So … do ALL the good you can.
has told you, O mortal, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but
to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God? Micah
Job, Three Simple Rules
Wesley and Charles Wesley, The Poetical
Works of John and Charles Wesley
(Adobe PDF eBook from Grand Rapids:
Christian Classics Ethereal Library, based on an 1868 edition), 6.