Do No Harm

As an important step in becoming a doctor, medical students have traditionally been required to take the Hippocratic Oath. One of the foundational principles of that oath can be summered up in the pledge to “Do no harm.” This pledge builds a sacred trust between the patient and the doctor. It assures us that we are going to be safe under our physician’s care. 

Can you imagine what it would be like if doctors didn’t abide by that oath? We would never be sure about their motives. Are they just doing what makes them the most money? Or are they using us as guinea pigs in a dangerous medical experiment? It would erode all confidence in the medical profession and result in people not getting the care they need. 

In many ways, this is exactly what has happened with Christians in society. We forgot that we were also supposed to be living by an oath to “Do no harm.”

Paul tells us in Philippians 2:14-15, “Do all things without complaining and disputing, that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world.”

Just like doctors aren’t supposed to give lethal prescriptions or perform unnecessary surgeries, Christians aren’t supposed to complain or argue. When we grumble and complain, we are injecting toxic thoughts into the lives of those around us. When we argue and dispute, we are needlessly amputating relationships when we were supposed to bring healing. 

As a result, the world no longer sees the church as a safe place to come and find healing for the hurts and maladies of life. When we grumble, complain, argue, and dispute, we erode the sacred trust that the world was supposed to have in the church. As a result, many people cannot find the prayer, care, or healing they need. 

Let’s pay attention to what our words, attitudes, and actions are communicating to the world. Let’s endeavor to be blameless and harmless children of God that stand out like bright lights of love and graciousness in a world already darkened by disgruntledness and complaints. 

Let’s take the Philippians 2:14 oath to do no harm!
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