March 7, 2016

Matthew 7:12 So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.

You probably recognize this verse. It has come to be known as “the Golden Rule,” “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” But as we see above, this is bracketed by two other clauses that we often overlook. Near the beginning of the Sermon on the Mount, of which this is part, Jesus says, “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them” (5:17). So it would seem that this “Do unto others” is a way of pulling together and focusing a lot of Jesus’ and the Bible’s teaching. For those of us who can’t hold too much in our memories for easy recall, this is a great mnemonic for what God wants. The first clause is also intriguing- “So in everything.” I think most everybody would agree that this Golden Rule is a good saying, but we almost all have those areas where we would gladly discard it. I want forgiveness but I may not always want to forgive. I want to be heard and respected but I may not always want to listen and respect. I want the good things of life, material and otherwise, but I may be able to overlook the fact that others don’t have these. To try to apply the Golden Rule “in everything” often just shows us how self-centered we truly are. None the less, Jesus says it is what God wants for his children and what God wants God must give us the power to perform. This week, what are some of the “in everythings” of your life God would confront with this Golden Rule?

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