So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets. (Matt 7:12) The Golden Rule is one of those scriptures as familiar as John 3:16. For many of us, it’s part of our religious DNA. And for many of us, it’s one of those teachings that roll off us like water off a duck’s back. Because it’s so familiar, we stop thinking about it. It’s just something that we know.
This forgetfulness is something Jesus is not amused with. Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say? (Luke 6:4) Doing for others what we want them to do for us was not a new command. It came out of Leviticus 19. God’s been saying that for a while. So why is it so hard to do, because yes, it’s hard to do.
When we’re sitting in church, the Golden Rule sounds right. We should treat others the way we want to be treated, but then we go home. We get on the freeway and go to the grocery store and, hardest of all, we live with family. The business of real life takes ahold of our perspective and all thoughts of that kindness flit away somewhere.
The good news is that kindness is a fruit of the Spirit. When we see that we are lacking in this area, all we need to do is ask for His help. The Holy Spirit has equipped us with everything that pertains to life and godliness. He provides. It’s our job to ask. This won’t be a one-time request. It will be one that we ask over and over, because we need to. It’s important to God so it’s really important to us.
It takes mindfulness to treat others the way we want to be treated. It’s not convenient. But of all the laws and the teachings of Jesus, this is the one He said to remember. Let’s be careful to treat others well.