7 Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this fulfills the law and the prophets
We all know it. The
“Golden Rule” it is called. It is known
by cultures around the world, by Christian and non-Christian, by rich and poor,
by big and small, by any race, sex or creed.
This rule has been heard over and over again. Why is it that we have so much trouble
Well, I can think of several reasons which I will share in
this post. I’ll bet you can some up with
a few more on your own. As I look at my
own life and what I have witnessed and done myself, I can see so many ways that
I fall flat on my face when it comes to this simple statement. It’s not on purpose, mind you. It’s a slip of the mental capacities, or it’s
human nature, to just do what is best for me, not necessarily what is best for
the other. I challenge you to see if you
fit any of these patterns I am going to share.
The first is the “me first” or privileged society we live in
today. It’s what I want ahead of all
else. It’s my morality that
matters. It’s my needs that trump
yours. I must do what I have set out to
do, and I’m not concerned whether you can fit into my plans or not. Have you heard that? I just heard it yesterday from one of my
daughters! I hear it a lot. Once we have set course in a certain
direction, we are not going to turn back and try and help someone else. This rule says to do what you would want someone
to do for you, not what you want to do for them, or not for them.
We have one of our granddaughters living with us right
now. Her cousins came down for Christmas
this weekend. They spent the first night
with us and had a blast. The last night
they were staying in another city about 40 miles away so they could swim and
head home in the morning. Our
granddaughter wanted to go up swimming with them and needed a ride home if she
did because I am not able to drive right now and my wife was working at a
restaurant that night. But they had made
their plans ahead and were not willing to drive her home. My lovely wife, who will do anything for her
grandkids, drove up after work and picked her up. I rode with her and as always was amazed with
Would my daughter have liked us to bring her daughter home
if a similar situation arose? We would
have gladly done it. We would have
figured out a way or altered our plans slightly to make it happen. But we would have done it, not because we
would want the same, but because it is the right thing to do. Help someone else out if they ask, even if I
have to go out of my way. Isn’t that
what this rule says?
In our world today, we see this often. People will not go out of their way to help
someone else out. They are stuck in
their own little routines and heaven forbid someone should ask them to go out
of their way to help. They forget that
they might need that favor returned someday.
When that day comes, they get mad because the other person won’t do what
they would not do earlier.
The next thing is a simple thing called getting even. Well, they did this to me, so I’m going to do
it right back! They gossiped about me,
so I’m telling about them! They didn’t
help me out at work, so I won’t help them!
They didn’t wave at me so I’m going to snub my nose at them. How many times have we heard this, or been
guilty of this? This is actually the
exact opposite of the Golden Rule. It is
saying they did it to me, so I’m going to do it to them because I did not like
it! How backwards can it get? Yet our society seems to run on this
This was me just the other day. I confess – I am guilty. I had ordered some things from a local gal
who does a masterful job at couponing.
She sells stuff out of her home that she has bought for pennies on the
dollar and she is well below store prices.
She was out of town when I sent in my order and hadn’t seen it, so I
sent it again. She said she would get
back with a price so I could write a check.
She did not, so I prompted her. I
got the price and asked her when I could come pick them up or could she deliver them. No response, for days. I asked again, three weeks after the order
was placed, I still did not have the goods so I bought them at a local store.
My wife works with this gal at night, and she came home
after I had bought them and said the gal was going to bring some stuff over
because she felt bad. I told her that I
had already bought it and didn’t need it.
Then I said I would not order from her again. Yes, this is poor customer service, and in
the eyes of the world, I would be justified in not purchasing from her
again. But is this right? Is this the way I would want to be treated,
or am I working the reverse of the rule?
According to this verse, the right thing to do is forgive
her and give her another chance. I would
want another chance if I messed up this bad!
I have been in sales for over 30 years and know what it is to make
mistakes and be given another chance. To
be honest, it’s rare. But it’s the right
thing to do. Remember our lesson on
forgiveness? That applies so strongly in
this verse. I would want to be forgiven
my negligence. I should certainly
Then there is revenge.
Christians should never take revenge into their own hands, but so often
we want it so badly that we forget God told us vengeance was His, He would
repay (Deuteronomy 32:3). We forget that
God says to not avenge ourselves but leave room for God’s wrath (Romans 12:19). We want an immediate judgment! We want that matter settled now, and we will
do it ourselves. After all, we are the
ones who were wronged!
I can’t say I can give a good example of this one right off
the top of my head, but you can all relate, I am sure. Someone does something
bad to us, so we repay by doing something bad back. Or someone says something hurtful and we fire
right back. My wife and I used to get
into some of those types of arguments and no one ever wins. One party or the other gets deeply hurt and
in our case it was always my wife. I
can’t tell you how many times I fired back some off the cuff remark that I did
not intend to say because she stirred my pot a bit. I’ve become a
lot better at avoiding this, but it still creeps up every so often. I just don’t want to hurt her with my words
anymore, so I am so careful. Revenge is
never a good thing when we take it into our own hands. My wife always says “They will reap what they
sow” and this is so true!
The last thing that I will mention is pride, I know I mention this a lot, but it is the
major fault that keeps us going against the principles of God. Pride will want to make us stay on top, stay
ahead, get even, get revenge and get our way.
Pride will keep us from yielding to someone else’s need or to
acknowledge someone made a mistake.
Pride will keep us from forgiving someone and give them another
chance. Pride needs to go and humility
needs to rule and reign in our lives.
One last thought on this verse. Have you ever thought about the fact that you
can take this verse and turn it a little around to show how powerful it really
is? Do you realize that when you are
gossiping about your neighbor, you are saying in effect it is alright if they
gossip about you, according to this rule?
After all, whatever I want done for me, I do for them, right? If I don’t
give them a ride when they need one, I am telling them they don’t need to give
me a ride when I need one, right? If I
don’t help them, I don’t expect they should help me! What we do for or to others is what we want
done for or to us is another way of looking at this verse.
Do you want others to take revenge on you? Take revenge on them! Do you want others to not help you out? Don’t help them out! Do you want others to put you down behind
your back? Put them down behind their
back! Do you want others to steal your
joy? Steal their joy! Do you want others to be angry with you? Be angry with them!
Or, Do you want others to forgive you? Forgive them!
Do you want others to be at peace with you? Be at peace with them! Do you want others to speak gently to
you? Speak gently to them! Do you want others to help you? Help them!
Do you want others to love you?
Love them! Love them even if they
don’t love you back. Forgive them even
if they don’t forgive you back. Be at
peace with them even if that peace is not returned.
Do to them as you want them to do to you. So simple, yet so profound!
This is a repost from my God’s Maintenance Man Blog. If you would like to check out the rest of the study, please click HERE