The Golden Rule
In Matthew 7:12 Jesus states, “So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.” According to Jesus this is an important command because it sums up the Law and the Prophets. The Bible is filled with many commands and examples for us to learn from, but all of these commands and examples can be summed up in three basic principles: Love God, Love your neighbor, and Treat others the way you would like to be treated. God is concerned with how we treat family, Christians, widows, orphans, foreigners, the poor, and even enemies.
Treating others the way we would like to be treated is harder than it sounds. It is something we must work at because it is not our natural reaction. Instead we often treat people in the following ways:
We treat people as we think they should be treated. We set ourselves up as judges and we decide what treatment is fair and unfair for them. Our treatment of others is based on our feelings and not God’s Word.
We treat people the way we are treated. Maybe you have been treated poorly or unfairly in your life, and so you feel like others do not deserve better treatment than you have received.
We treat people the way others treat them. This often happens when we are in a group. We will sometimes go along with the group even if it is wrong.
We treat people the way they deserve to be treated. Some people will be rude and unkind towards us. Some people may even try and harm us or attempt to destroy our reputation or career. This does not give us the right to treat them the same way. We must act in a Christian manner no matter who we are dealing with.
Of course the ultimate example in following the Golden Rule is God. When God gives us a command He is often asking us to follow in His own footsteps. Everyone of us deserves death because of our sins (Rom. 6:23), but God chose not to treat us as we deserve. Instead He showed His love for us by sending His Son to die on the cross on our behalf. May we live for Him and treat others the way we would like to be treated.