Growing up, I remember learning the “golden rule” from my parents, which is based on the Bible: “… whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them…” (Matthew 7:12). These words uttered by Jesus Christ Himself were, as He stated, the very essence of what was taught by “the Law and the Prophets.”
Christians should use this Scripture as a catalyst. In our daily lives, we should be actively looking out for the welfare of others—in our thoughts, in what we say and how we treat each other. When we scratch, bite and claw each other, we will be devoured, as it says in Galatians 5:15.
And yet, we have a continuing command to show the love to others that God shows to us (compare verse 14). It is not a self-serving kind of love that God shows, but is an all-encompassing love that does no harm to others.
How do we respond when wrong is done to us? Ecclesiastes 7:21-22 and Matthew 5:38-44 give us valuable direction. Life is full of situations when people in the world are going to use and abuse us. They are going to say mean things. They will try and get at us. But if we pay back in kind, then we are no better then they, and our Christianity becomes meaningless.
Are we asking ourselves: How important am I? How important are my emotions, my well-being, my self? Do we see how easy it is to fall into these traps of self-deceit, self-aggrandizement and self-centeredness? This is how Satan fell. The deception of pride crept into his heart. It rooted out ALL godliness. It became the very contradiction to God’s Way of Life.
Claiming to be a “Christian” does not mean that we are Christians, as 1 John 2:9-11,15-17 states so powerfully. So instead of engaging in deeds of coveting and wickedness, as well as deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride and foolishness, we should instead be taking the extra care and diligence that is required to be focused on others. Philippians 2:1-5 says (in the New International Version): “If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than [above] yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. Your attitude [mindset] should be the same as that of Christ Jesus…”
Being a Christian demands action. It takes care and concern. It takes using the “golden rule” in our lives so that others around us can see that we live by what we say. And in turn they (in time) will perhaps learn to glorify God. There is no passing the buck when applying this rule. It is our individual duty that each one of us apply it in our lives for the benefit of others.