Matthew 7:12 (AMP)

“So then, whatever you desire that others would do to and for you, even so do also to and for them, for this is (sums up) the Law and the Prophets.”

Golden mallet

Courtesy of Google Images

The Golden Rule. Simple in its statement yet profound in its wisdom.

In Matthew 5 – 7, Jesus delivers what has become known as the Sermon on the Mount.  The content of His teaching at the beginning of His ministry largely deals with the social life of the spiritual kingdom He would soon be ushering in. A social life that is made possible by faith in Him through His grace. A social life that is expected to be a testimony of a Redeemer and redeemed life. These are the guidelines for how believers are to interact with fellow believers and non-believers in the world in which we all live.  The profundity of this simply stated guideline from the words in red, is that Jesus makes the alarming summary: “for this is the essence of all that is taught in the Law and the Prophets” (NLT).  Toward the end of His ministry and life on earth, Jesus would make the same alarming summary when asked to delineate which of the commandments is the greatest.  His response, in paraphrase form, was, Love God with everything you’ve got and love your neighbor as yourself. “The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments” (NLT)  The apostle Paul captures and reiterates this same theme in his words to the Romans: “For the commandments say, You must not commit adultery. You must not murder. You must not steal. You must not covet. These—and other such commandments—are summed up in this one commandment: Love your neighbor as yourself. Love does no wrong to others, so love fulfills the requirements of God’s law.”  (Romans 13:9-10, NLT)

The Golden Rule is the great fulcrum upon which morality finds its balance. It is a demonstration of man’s love for fellow man and a witness to the world of an even greater love. In describing its impact, Albert Barnes fitly writes, “It has been well said that this law is what the balance-wheel is to machinery. It would prevent all irregularity of movement in the moral world, as that (balance-wheel) does in a steam-engine. It is easily applied, its justice is seen by all people, and all must acknowledge its force and value.” (Albert Barnes, Notes on the Bible)  What a different world it would be if only we could take this principle to heart and, by the Grace of its Author, practice it with regularity.

There are over 7 billion people on earth representing different generations, cultures, ethnicity, religious beliefs…every walk of life under the sun.  Yet, the power of the simple words framed within the Golden Rule transcends.  I have absolutely no idea how anyone else wants to be treated.  At best, I can only assume.  However, out of the 7 billion people with whom I share planet earth, the one person I can be absolutely sure, 100% of the time, how he likes to be treated 100% of the time, is ME.

Guided by this knowledge and enabled by God’s grace, I am now equipped to love my neighbor as myself… 

Imagine 7 billion people putting this into practice.

It starts with me.

And you.

How do you like to be treated?

…Peace and blessings…

~ joe

  1. Michael Zawatski says:

    I believe that when we treat others like we want to be treated, we’ll cover 80% of the offenses we cause one another, all 7 billion + of us. Still, I think we can take this one step further and treat others like they like to be treated, AKA, the platinum rule. I feel this takes the focus off of us and on to others. Treating others like they want to be treated requires us to think about others thoughts and feelings and to respond in love. In Luke 6:33 (HCSB), Jesus says, “If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them.”

    I liken the platinum rule, treating others like they want to be treated, to what Paul says in 1 Cor 9:19-23 (HCSB), “Although I am a free man and not anyone’s slave, I have made myself a slave to everyone, in order to win more people. To the Jews I became like a Jew, to win Jews; to those under the law, like one under the law — though I myself am not under the law — to win those under the law. To those who are without that law, like one without the law — not being without God’s law but within Christ’s law — to win those without the law. To the weak I became weak, in order to win the weak. I have become all things to all people, so that I may by every possible means save some. Now I do all this because of the gospel, so I may become a partner in its benefits.”


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