Thursday, February 19, 2015

The Golden Rule

- As Jesus was concluding His Sermon on the Mount, He gave a general principle to guide our conduct. He tells us to treat others the way we want them to treat us. This is a golden rule that should be observed by everyone in everything (as long as it's in line with the Scriptures...I'll explain more about this later)Motivated by love (for God and for people) & clear conscience and guided by justice, mercy, & compassion, we are to do to others as we would desire and expect them to do to us...were our circumstances and theirs reversed. This one rule is simple yet very reasonable, valuable, and influential. It is active benevolence. It's the practical application of "Love your neighbor as yourself". If we want to be treated with kindness, mercy, grace, respect, courtesy, etc., then we must do the same for others. It starts with you and I...what we do, not what or how others do or respond. Even if they don't do what we wish they would do, we still do it. Always do the right thing because it's the right thing to do! If rightly applied, this golden rule would destroy abuse, betrayal, unkindness, disrespect, dishonesty, slander, theft, slavery, adultery, murder, and other atrocities seen in this world.

"It seems as if God had written it upon the hearts of all men, for sayings of this kind may be found among all nations, Jewish, Christian, and Heathen." (Adam Clarke) "Alexander Severus, a Heathen emperor, so greatly admired this rule of Christ's, that he ordered it to be written on the walls of his closet." (John Gill) 

"Following the golden rule we shall be led to our duty and therefore to blessedness." (Unknown)

- Without selfless love and the Scriptures as our guide, this rule can be wrongly applied. If one is evil and wicked, he/she may wish evil to himself/herself. One may use it as an excuse to establish revenge and retaliation. It doesn't work in every case; for example, a criminal would love for a judge to treat him the way the judge wants to be treated but the judge cannot do so. It doesn't work when people wish others to do things that are sinful, foolish, and unreasonable. 
Reciprocity in evil or in folly is definitely not what Christ has in mind.

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