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The Golden Rule

One of the things that I do is stay abreast of what is going on around me. That is certainly in our life and family but also in our community and state. There is more to it than that though, it is our country and the world in which we all exist.

I would hope you would agree with me that those situations which are the closest to us are areas where we might be able to have a greater effect. That effect however becomes less as we move out to the community, state, nation and especially the world. Now that I think about it, really how many opportunities do I have to affect situations even in my family or community? Probably some but not to the degree that I might want.

Jesus was asked in Matthew 12:28-31:

28 Then one of the scribes came, and having heard them reasoning together, perceiving that He had answered them well, asked Him, “Which is the first commandment of all?”

29 Jesus answered him, “The first of all the commandments is: ‘Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one.

30 And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ This is the first commandment.

31 And the second, like it, is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”

As I think about what Jesus said, I have something that I hold onto every day. It begins with loving the Lord. As Jesus said, with all my heart, soul, mind and strength just as my Savior has commanded.

Then the other is that as He said in continuing His answer that I am to love my neighbor as myself. This is a very profound thought that He is making. Now we can agree, I hope, that we are all sinners. If we have accepted Christ as our Lord and Savior, we are sinners saved by grace. That is God's riches at Christ's expense. With that understanding, it is incumbent on me to do as my Savior says. I may not attain perfection, actually, I won't, but each day I am to have this in the forefront of my thoughts and actions.

When we look around us from the closest to those distant relationships and beyond. There are things people do and say which make it difficult for us to do as our Savior tells us. This is not just a problem area for Christians but for every person. What is being said of others, by all people, is well beyond what used to be common courtesy.

In Matthew 7:12 NKJV Jesus says

...whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them,...

This particular phrase from the teachings of Jesus Christ is commonly referred to as The Golden Rule. The New World Encyclopedia says that The Golden Rule is a cross-cultural ethical precept found in virtually all the religions of the world. Also known as the "Ethic of Reciprocity," the Golden Rule can be rendered in either positive or negative formulations: most expressions take a passive form, as expressed by the Jewish sage Hillel: "What is hateful to you, do not to your fellow neighbor. This is the whole Law, all the rest is commentary" (Talmud, Shabbat 31a). In Christianity, however, the principle is expressed affirmatively by Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount: "Do unto others as you would have others do unto you" (Gospel of Matthew 7:12). This principle has for centuries been known in English as the Golden Rule in recognition of its high value and importance in both ethical living and reflection.

I endeavor every day to follow the teachings of my Lord and Savior. In so doing, I am acting in a way toward others the way I want them to be toward me. I do wish though that I could be more tolerant at times.

What about you and those situations in your life? How are you doing on this matter Jesus taught us to-

...whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them,...

Just a thought but one I hope you ask yourself regularly.

In God's Grace,

Elbert Nasworthy

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