3 simple rules can make a relationship thrive

Voices of Religion

Posted: Friday, February 29, 2008

It's been a crazy beginning to the year with a lot going on. At times, it has felt like I've been running around like a chicken with my head cut off. You know those kinds of days, I'm sure.

I was on a plane a few weeks ago and had the opportunity to sit and read. It was wonderful!

The one book I was able to read completely on the flight was a little book that had been sent to me called, "Three Simple Rules" by Reuben Job.

The three simple rules are these: Do no harm; do good; stay in love with Jesus.

Simple enough rules to remember, but they are difficult to actualize in my own life. They are based on the two great commandments to love your neighbor as yourself and to love the Lord your God with your heart, soul, mind and strength.

The first is to do no harm. In other words, work to love your enemies and pray for those who mean you harm. That goes against our knee-jerk reaction, but it is the radical lifestyle to which Jesus has called all who follow him.

The second rule is to do good. Sounds easy enough, doesn't it? But, try to get through an entire day just focusing on doing good to your neighbor. It's harder than you think.

We don't have to do it by ourselves, though; we have the love of Christ working in and through us as we live out this simple rule.

Finally, the third rule is to "stay in love with Jesus."

This is the one that I enjoy the most. It, too, sounds easy until you realize that having a relationship with Christ is like being married. A good marriage doesn't just happen. It's something you need to work at. You need to communicate well, demonstrate love and devote time. These are all essential to making a relationship thrive.

It's going to take some time, effort and care to stay in love with Jesus. It will not just happen.

These three simple rules helped me to remember what is most important in my Christian life and faith.

This little book has challenged me during this season of Lent to focus on those things that are most important and not to get mired in the everyday details of life.

No, this has not, as yet, helped me to reduce my piles of stuff on my desk and table, but it has given me pause to think about what I'm doing and why. It has given me a sense of my self and where I am spiritually. It has challenged me to keep things more simple and strive to keep these three simple rules at the forefront of my mind and heart each day.

I pray that you, too, will have the opportunity to pause, to remember, to meditate and to seek to become more like Christ as together we learn to do no harm, do good and stay in love with Jesus.

Laura Skiba is pastor of North Star United Methodist Church at Mile 25.5 of the Kenai Spur Highway in Nikiski. Sunday school begins at 9:45 a.m. and worship is at 11 a.m. For more information, call 776-8732.

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