The Golden Rule

August 31, 2012

Matthew 7:12
So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.

The Golden Rule


One of the most detrimental, selfish and skewed ways for us to live as human beings is to only see life from our point of view and only how it benefits us.  A young toddler or child is normally this way.  That is all that they know.  They know what they want and they do whatever works to get it.  Maturity and correction should teach them that life is not all about “me”.  Unfortunately for many of us as adults we still hold on a lot to this mentality.
There is an old saying that you need to walk a mile in someone else’s moccasins to understand where they are coming from.  I believe that goes hand in hand with what the Lord is teaching us here.  We may not be able to fully experience what somebody else is experiencing, but that doesn’t mean we don’t need to have empathy and sympathy in an effort to understand and imagine if we were in their situation.  When we are willing to weigh the needs, concerns and care we have for others in the same way that we do for ourselves, then we are beginning to move in a direction of loving our neighbor as ourselves.  When we are actively asking ourselves as we deal with others in business and personally, how would I want this person or business to treat me in this situation?  Am I being fair and reasonable or am I only focused on getting my way?  Human relationships can be complex and difficult at times.  We certainly can’t control how another treats us, but we can make the decision of how we respond or choose to treat another.  The Lord is teaching us throughout the New Testament to be proactive in our choices of how we respond and treat others.
In Matthew 5:38-48 Jesus teaches, “”You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’  39But I tell you, Do not resist an evil person. If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. 40And if someone wants to sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well. 41If someone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles. 42Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you. 43″You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44But I tell you: Love your enemy and pray for those who persecute you, 45that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. 46If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? 47And if you greet only your brothers, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? 48Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.  What Jesus is telling us to do here goes against the grain of our natural reasoning and response, but He is telling us to have a love that exceeds that of the world.  There are many good people in the world doing good things, but if we just love those who love us then what is that more than the rest of the world is doing?  Christ’s love is that of 1 Corinthians 13:4-8, “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 8Love never fails…”
The golden rule is such a powerful principle that if we all lived by it we would all have one another’s interest at heart and not just our own.  While we are blessing someone else, some else is blessing us.  We are watching one another’s backs and having the same care and concern for others as we have for ourselves.  It is a simple principle, but one we soon forget, neglect or fail to practice.  It is hard for us to excel and get ahead using this principle, but then that should tell us something about that mentality in the light of God’s purpose and plan for us.  God tells us to seek first the kingdom of God and all these things shall be added unto you.  Like we have said before, the greatest principle we can learn from life is that true fulfilling life is not that found in the getting, but in the giving.      Let us remember and practice this simple principle, because upon it hangs the sum of the Law and the Prophets.

Blessings,
kent

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