Brothers and Sisters,
(Matthew 7:12) Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.
This verse of scripture has been tagged as “the golden rule”. We’ve all had this taught to us from our youth. Most of us have heard it said this way, “do unto others as you would have them do unto you”. This is the verse that they used to make this statement. The world we be a much better place if everyone would practice “the golden rule”.
Jesus is the one who taught this principle of living to his disciples. This is a part of the sermon on the mount found in Matthew chapters 5-7. This is one of those things that are a lot easier preached than practiced. Jesus is the only man who ever lived who kept “the golden rule” in everything he would say and do.
All throughout his life here on earth, Jesus went about doing good. He healed the sick, gave sight to the blind, cleansed the lepers, the lame could walk again and he even raised the dead. He fed the multitudes, calmed the raging seas, cast out demons and saved the lost. In his last dying breath, he forgave those who had nailed him to the cross, spat upon him, plucked out his beard, shoved a crown of thorns upon his head and cursed and mocked him. (Luke 23:34) Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots.
Jesus always seemed to have the right words to say in every situation. He could calm down Martha when she was so perplexed at times. He knew how to handle Peter when he would get excited and say things that he shouldn’t. Basically, Jesus treated people the right way even when they were wrong in their thinking.
The world could use more people who know how to treat people even when they are wrong. We all make mistakes and need forgiveness from time to time. This is not to say that there are times when judgment should be exercised and people made to pay for their wrongs. There are always consequences for doing wrong (sin).
It’s always appreciated when others forgive us for our mistakes, but have you ever thought about our responsibility to forgive men their trespasses? If we are not willing to forgive others, how can we expect God to forgive us when we sin? (Mark 11:25-26) And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses. But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses. Therefore, we should always be quick to forgive others and seek reconciliation because that is what we would want others to do for us.
As I consider “the golden rule”, another thought comes to mind. We all have had times in our lives when we needed a helping hand. I have many times over the years and I always remember those who have come to my aid. You know the Bible speaks about this. When we see a brother in need, the Bible tells us what we should do. (1 John 3:17-18) But whoso hath this world’s good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him? My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.
If we have the ability to help a brother in need, shouldn’t we come to his aid? Is this not practicing “the golden rule”? We have certainly appreciated it when in the past others have stepped in to help us in our time of need. Is this not the definition of doing unto others as you would have them do unto you? I think so.
So, as I stressed a few days ago in our morning devotions let’s be swift to hear and slow to speak. In addition, let’s always do our best to treat others the way we would want them to treat us. If we can learn these simple lessons, how much better could our life be?