Wisdom Wednesday: Avoiding Liability

IMG_1891 railing_smqt

Have you ever been involved in a lawsuit?  Did you know the Bible contains instructions on how to avoid liability and going to court?  In fact, many of the earliest U.S. laws were inspired by the Bible.  Deuteronomy 22:8 says, “If you build a new house, you must construct a guard rail around your roof to avoid being culpable in the event someone should fall from it.”  During that time period in history and in that culture, roofs were often flat and were used as an extra space for work, recreation and even sleeping.  Neglecting to put up some sort of parapet put the safety of those on the roof, as well as those in the courtyard or street below at risk.  The Bible has several laws regarding compensation for loss from damage to property, injury to people or livestock, and even death.

“A danger foreseen is half avoided.”  —German proverb

“Consideration is the parent of wisdom.”  —Latin proverb

“The inconsiderate is the first to lose.”  —Egyptian proverb

The best way to avoid liability is to consider potential dangers and quit being lazy or reckless.  For example, if the weather becomes snowy or icy, we should shovel, snow blow, salt or sand areas where people such as mail and package carriers and fuel deliverers travel so as to avoid an accident and make it easier for them to do their jobs.  We should drive defensively rather than offensively to avoid crashes.  If we own livestock or pets, we should make sure they are kept from doing damage to our neighbor’s property.  The bottom line is we should consider others and not just ourselves.

“Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.  Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.”  —Philippians 2:3, 4

“Love thy neighbor as thyself.”  —Jesus

If an accident or offense does take place, Jesus said, “Agree with thine adversary quickly, whiles thou art in the way with him; lest at any time the adversary deliver thee to the judge, and the judge deliver thee to the officer, and thou be cast into prison.”  (Matthew 5:25)  In other words, if something does happen, take responsibility and try to settle it out of court, if possible, especially if the dispute is between two Christians.

“Do not wrong or hate your neighbor, for it is not he that you wrong, but yourself.”  —Native American proverb

Happy New Year everyone!  Have a safe and blessed year!


About Rene Yoshi

Just a transplanted Okinawan-French Southern girl with a wee bit o' Irish, sharing photography and what I'm learning about spiritual things, including putting off legalism and religious traditions, and embracing God's matchless love, tender mercy, and amazing grace! View all posts by Rene Yoshi

10 responses to “Wisdom Wednesday: Avoiding Liability

  • Caddo

    Happy New Year–love sis Caddo

  • Randell Bell

    Very wise counsel Rene. I think it all boils down to the true state of our hearts and whether we truly love our neighbor. Yes when we see our neighbor sick, helpless or naked we immediately perceive a need and respond, but let someone without a recognizable need approach and we look around with rose-colored glasses or are blind all together. I think God puts these unrecognizable needs in our lives to test what kind of servant we truly are, yes when the King asks us for something we jump at the chance to serve Him, but when the beggar asks we tend to ignore him. How we treat the simple and lowly is really how we treat the Lord. – Matt.22:37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
    38 This is the first and great commandment.39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.
    Not sure if I strayed from the post. LOL

    • Rene Yoshi

      Thank you, Randell. Yes, seeing a neighbor sick, helpless or naked is obvious, but like you indicated, having a servant’s heart and true love for our ‘neighbors’ is mindful of the not-so-obvious. When it snows, we might only think about having to shovel a path for ourselves or that we have good snow tires and can navigate our car under snowy conditions, rather than considering others who may need to enter our property and may not have good snow tires or front-wheel drive. It’s fixing a weak stair or a broken railing on a deck for those who may be unaware of the potential danger. It’s offering a glass of water, like my mother used to do, to those who were doing a repair on our property on a hot day. Thank you, Randell, for offering a deeper perspective. 🙂

  • utesmile

    wishing you a very happy new year Rene!

  • optimisticgladness

    This is a wise post. An attractive nuisance. We can’t have fun stuff in our backyard without a fence around it. Kids may wander in and get hurt. Thanks Rene! BTW, do you pronounce your name like: Ree-knee? I have a friend who pronounces her name that way.

    • Rene Yoshi

      Interestingly, I have a half-sister who pronounces her name that way, too. My name actually has an accent on the last e and is pronounced reh-NAY. I’m not sure why my father left off the additional e to make it feminine. I used to tease that he was hoping for a boy. He ended up having four girls… [chuckle]… and didn’t have a ‘son’ until the Lord gave him a grandson. Thank you, Lisa! 😀

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