As my focus in faith lately has been on “life verses”, I have come across many references to Matthew 7:12 (The Golden Rule.)
12In everything —– do to others as you would have them do to you; for this is the law and the prophets.
The Golden Rule was mentioned to our youth by the preacher at The Great Escape —-
and it was also one of the scriptures that several followers of Jesus had claimed at our
own Tuesday Men’s Lunch. We treasure it as words from the lips of Jesus – recorded in
Matthew and Luke.
Bible scholars have written extensively on “the Golden Rule”, and they are quick to point
out that the same thought had been shared and written down before Jesus. As far back
as the 4th century B.C. Greek literature reflected the sentiment of the Golden Rule.
In the pre-Christian book called Tobit we find
And what you hate – do not do to anyone
There was a Rabbi by the name of Hillel who lived around the time that Jesus walked
the earth who told a Gentile:
What is hateful to you, do not do to your neighbor: that is the whole Torah.
The sentiment of this verse existed in the culture at the time when Jesus first spoke to
His Followers and us, but it was framed in the negative —-
you find something to be bad to you – don’t do it to others.
Jesus proclaimed it is a positive manner, and what he popularized has become marching orders for legions of His followers:
In everything —– do to others as you would have them do to you;
Not a bad way to start this day. If you like it when people smile at you, then smile at everyone you meet today. If you like it when people share something with you, then be generous with others today. If you like it when people are kind to you, then let kindness be your quest today. This kind of behavior is indeed golden.
God, help me to think about others today, and guide them into treating them as I wish to be treated. Amen.