Whatever Happened to the Golden Rule?
12 “So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.
I don't hear much about the "Golden Rule" anymore.
What is the "Golden Rule?"
To understand this we look to Jesus's Sermon on the Mount, which is in Matthew 5:1-16.
The sermon can be divided into three parts which in their totality tells us how to be disciples and how to preserve society and be the salt and the light. In living and thinking this way we show God the Father to be the light of the world. In verses 5-17 and 7:12 Christ refers to "the Law and the Prophets", which is a specific teaching of what is required of us to live in The Kingdom of God thru Christ.
To break it down living out the kingdom involves doing unto our neighbors as we would want to have done to us. This then is the end to which the Law and Prophets direct us (7:12). People have practiced the "Golden Rule" by omission by just not doing bad or evil things to others prior to Christ's teachings. It was the positive application of service to others that confused everyone. We must love others first, share our wealth as the Kingdom puts others ahead of ourselves.
1 John 4:7,19
7 Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God.
19 We love because he first loved us.
Today the "Golden Rule" has more ground to cover. We have at least in America abandoned community in favor of competitive tribalism, "Either your for us or against us!" Many Christians have become functional Atheists, lukewarm at best with no real relationship with Christ.
So we see that everywhere we use words we are accountable to God for what we think and what we say, on-line or in conversations with our neighbor. Speaking hate and not even considering the welfare of our friend and neighbor does not follow the commands we are given by our Lord. Slander and gossip have become the common currency of many who claim to be Christians.
The Bible summons us to give, to serve, to sacrifice, to lay down our rights. But there is one command that is highly competitive:
10 Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor.
So how are you doing in showing honor to those around you?
Biblical encouragement is being seen less and less in our culture. As Christians we must assume the best, see the best, and identify the best in others. This self-less thinking is not natural for self-absorbed sinners like us, it requires self-forgetfulness.
We must follow the example of our Crucified Lord by the strength that He gives us to live our days equipped with Kingdom words and Kingdom deeds as we practice the "Golden Rule."