How incredibly simple! We all know how we want to be treated by other people! Jesus says simply “Treat them like we want to be treated”.
As we seek to follow Jesus Christ, then we take notice of his teachings and do our best to put them into practice. The teachings of Jesus are summed up in what we call “The Sermon on the Mount”. As we read through these verses we come to a single verse which sums everything up.
So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.Matthew 7:12
And in Lukes Gospel:
Do to others as you would have them do to you.Luke 6:31
The Golden Rule
When I was at school, I remember our R.I. (religious instruction in those days) teacher telling us that it was “The Golden Rule”. Fifty years and 3,000 sermons later I have come back to the simplicity of this rule, which has the potential to transform our lives and the communities in which we live.
Not only does this sum up what Jesus had to say but it sums up all of the law in the Old Testament and also all that the prophets of old taught us about justice. In fact this another way of putting the principal of loving our neighbour as ourself.
For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbour as yourself.”Galatians 5:14
So what does it mean in practice:
|Do we need encouragement?||Then encourage other people.|
|Do we like people gossiping about us behind our backs?||Then don’t spread gossip about them.|
|Do we want people to tell the truth about us?||Then only speak truth about other people.|
|Do we want people to listen to us?||Really listen of other people and try to understand their reasoning even if we disagree with them.|
|Do we thrive on kindness?||Be kind to one another.|
|Do we seek respect?||Respect other people.|
|If we suffer exploitation because of our vulnerability.||Stand up for other people and seek justice for the exploited.|
|Are we a part of a minority group?||Respect all minority groups and stand up for their rights.|
|Do we suffer persecution because of our beliefs?||Love those who persecute us and try to understand their reasons.|
|Are we grieving for the loss of a loved one?||Empathise with other people suffering a similar loss.|
|And so on …….|
“Do to others as you would have them do to you” sounds so simple and yet it is so profound. If we all lived our lives according to this, think how different the world would be. If we claim to be a christian or a follower of Jesus Christ, we must take this seriously and make this statement the overarching principle in how we treat other people in our communities.