Human harm - Hope 103.2

Human harm

By David ReayThursday 6 Aug 2015LifeWords DevotionalsFaithReading Time: 0 minutes


Read Hebrews 13:5-6

5 Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said,

            “Never will I leave you;
               never will I forsake you.”

6 So we say with confidence,

           “The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid.
              What can human beings do to me?” (NIV)

Human beings can be a menace to us. In reply to this writer’s question as to what they may do to us, we may say “Plenty!” They can malign us, they can abuse us, they can reject us, they can desert us, they can wound us. And yet, that last phrase of the passage implies a negative answer. Human beings can’t actually menace us. How do we resolve that tension between the positive statement of immunity from human harm and our all-too-common experience of being harmed?

The answer lies in the words immediately preceding. The Lord is our helper. Human beings may do their worst but with the Lord as our defender we need fear no ultimate harm. We can too easily become victims of the thoughtlessness or cruelty of others. Other individuals can make our life a misery. One person in a workplace, a church, a family, a community organisation, can poison the atmosphere. While not denying that, we are called to adopt a new perspective. Those individuals are admittedly difficult and make life less satisfying for us. But we may not be able to change them.

So instead we change our own way of looking at things. We focus not on their upsetting qualities but focus instead on the Lord being our helper. Let others do their worst. The Lord will always do his best for me and with me and through me.

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David Reay