14th November 2013

Duty of Care

“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.”
John13:34 (NIV)

There I was lying on the floor, my left ankle throbbing with pain. I had stumbled over a shallow step in a hotel. Some might say that I had been clumsy and careless—perhaps they would be correct, but according to the law of the land the proprietor had a ‘duty of care.’ This was because there was no warning sign or hazard tape, and the step was a potential danger to people as it was the same colour as the floor tiles.

Days later in my incapacitated state with an elevated sprained ankle I had time to reflect on the phrase ‘duty of care’. This phrase is embedded in ‘tort law’ which concerns civil wrongs, as distinguished from criminal wrongs, in the law of England and Wales.

You won’t find this phrase in God’s word. As every Christian knows, Jesus gave a command which was also law—a new law, known by many as the Royal Law, quoted above and continuing on in verse 35, “By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” ‘Duty of care’ could not be defined better.

Followers of Jesus know that He died a cruel death and rose again. In His ministry here on earth, He instituted a perfect law for mankind. If the world obeyed this one law in its entirety, bloodshed would cease and peace would reign.

We know that this is a tall order. Without God’s divine Holy Spirit, humanity cannot fully carry out a global or individual ‘duty of care’. But take heart, we are promised that God has the situation in hand, “For unto us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6). This is our promise given by God through the words of an ancient prophet. The Saviour of the world lives and will return. The world’s view of ‘duty of care’ will be gone forever—no more legal suits, no more wriggling out of responsibility; quite simply, we will have a world wrapped in the love of God where each person will have the perfect ‘duty of care’ engraved in their hearts and minds for their fellow man.

Great God, thank you for not giving up on us. We praise you for your perfect love—hasten the day Father, when your Son will return to restore peace on this earth.

Study by Irene Wilson


irenewilsonAbout the Author:
Irene Wilson is a Deaconess in the Watford Congregation of the Worldwide Church of God UK, where she also serves on the Pastoral Council.

Local Congregation:
Worldwide Church of God Watford
St. Peter’s Church
61 Westfield Avenue
Watford, Herts.
WD24 7HF

Meeting Time:
Saturday 11AM

Local Congregational Contact:
George Henderson
Phone:  01923-855570
Email: george-sue.henderson@tesco.net

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