So in everything,
do to others what you would have them do to you,
for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.
The passage in known as “The Golden Rule.” There are variations of the Golden Rule in all forms of religions. For example:
Buddhism says, “hurt not others in ways that you yourself would find hurtful.” (Udana-Varga 5:18)
Confucianism says, “Do not do to others what you do not want them to do to you.” (Analects 15:23)
Hinduism says, “One should not behave towards others in a way which is disagreeable to oneself.” (Mencius Vii.A.4)
Judaism says, “What is hateful to you, do not to your fellow man. This is the law: all the rest is commentary.” (Talmud, Shabbat 31a)
I want you to notice how these variations are stated negatively: DON’T DO what you DON’T want done to you. I believe this makes the Golden Rule more achievable, at least in our human efforts. You see, when the Golden Rule is stated negatively it’s easy to say, “I don’t want to be murdered, therefore I will not murder.” “I don’t want to be punched in the face, therefore I’m not going to punch other people in the face.”
Jesus does something different. He puts a positive spin on the Golden Rule. Following Jesus calls us to live differently than others. Jesus says, “do to others what you would have them do to you.”
It is one thing to “do nothing,” but it’s completely different to “do something.” Jesus says, “Do something! Do to others what you would have done to you.” Jesus says this because He wants us to know how important it is to live in community with other people. He wants us to know the value of relationships. Basically, we need to think about how we want to be treated and then use that as a standard for how we treat others.
I believe this rule is true in every relationship, but it’s vitally true when it comes to family relationships. Have you ever noticed how you will work on the relationships in your life?
How many times have you overlooked the flaws of your best-friend for the sake of the friendship?
How many times have you ignored your boss’s quirks, because you really like working for her?
How many times do you ignore the jerk in the supermarket, because you just want peace and harmony when shopping for peas and carrots?
Why is it that we often fail to work on the relationships in our own families?
Why in the world would we ignore the jerk at the store, but we cannot forgive our spouse for a past mistake? Why do we put up with all the garbage our boss gives us, but we fail to give our children the benefit of the doubt? Why is it that we will bend-over-backwards for our best-friend, but we ignore our sibling as if they don’t exist?
There is something wrong with this picture. How can we love anyone they way Christ wants us to love them, when we cannot even loves those in our own families?
I want you to realize something: to love God means you loves others and this includes your family. You and I must start treating our family members they way we would want to be treated.
Value your spouse the way you’d like to be valued.
Speak to your children the way you’d like to be spoken to.
Treat your parents the way you’d like to be treated.
Love your siblings the way you’d like to be loved.
Respect your family the way you’d like to be respected.
Grace and Peace, Marc