Hidden Treasures

The Bible is much more than a book of religion.

Golden Rule

God's moral laws concerning our relationship with Him and with others is found in the Ten Commandments in Exodus 20. In Matthew 22:36-40 Jesus distills those ten commandments to two commandments. In Matthew 7:12 and again in Luke 6:31 Jesus further distills them down to one great Rule, The Golden Rule. "As ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise." In Luke 6:32-38 He shows how the Golden Rule can be worked out in different situations.

Note that every verse in this passage, as well as most of Jesus' Sermon on the Mount, deals with our selfless relationship with others called LOVE. That selfless relationship with others is based on God's selfless relationship with us shown in giving His Son as a sacrifice for our sins. Only as we are born again through faith in Christ, can we have God's selfless love flowing through us to others. If we lack that, it is IMPOSSIBLE for us to live by the Golden Rule.

Consider different situations and circumstances in which we have the opportunity to live out the Golden Rule and so glorify God.

Continuing with verses 32-33, Jesus shows that we are to love by doing good to others; even to our enemies. Those whose philosophies and political persuasions are different from ours are sometimes difficult to love. Certainly those who are disagreeable, rude and obnoxious are not easy to love. Our personal enemies and those who would take advantage of us are, humanly speaking, impossible to love. Yet God loved such people, including each of us who have sinned against Him, and He calls upon us as Christian to love them.

In verses 34 and 38 Jesus commands us to go out of our way to show our love by giving of our time and our resources to those in need and we are to do it with no expectation nor thought of return. Have you ever loaned or given your time or something of value to another and received not a word of appreciation? Have you ever thought to yourself, "That's the last time I will ever do anything else for THAT person?" Christian friend, that is not a Christian attitude. In Luke 6:35 Jesus teaches us to give, "hoping for nothing". Why do we love? Why do we loan? Why do we serve the Lord with little or no chance of ever being paid back in this life? Why do we give of ourselves hoping for nothing? We love and serve others because by faith we see from God's eternal vantage point. We serve with eternity's values in view.

A third way we live the golden rule according to verse 36 is to show mercy to others. As our Heavenly Father showed mercy to us in saving us, so we ought to show mercy to others. We should especially show mercy to those who have been unkind to us and are now in a position where we can get even with them and pay them back for their unkindness. That's the golden opportunity to show mercy according to Romans 12:14, 20-21 How much better it is to respond to our enemy with a fiery shower of genuine, selfless love than to stoop to his level returning insult for insult. By returning good for evil we please God and avoid the health-damaging consequences of malice and stress. We experience the joy of personal victory overcoming evil with good.

Finally in vs 37 we are warned to judge not and condemn not. When we attempt to measure, judge and condemn others; we are attempting to do what only God is capable of doing. We are all prone to see the faults of others and overlook our own faults or to weigh the faults of others as being heavier than our own faults. While we are commanded to discern good and evil by the standard of God's word, we are NOT to judge and condemn others. Instead we are to be quick to forgive and hold no grudges. When we have a forgiving heart, God is ready to forgive us our trespasses; but when we refuse to forgive, we put ourselves in a dangerous position where God will not forgive us. Read the Lord's Prayer in Matthew 6:9-13 and ponder soberly the warning of verses 14 and 15. "For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your Heavenly Father will also forgive you: but if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses."

Do you see the importance of living the Golden Rule? To put it in the words of a well known saying, "What goes around; comes around."

June 6, 2006 Posted by | Law | Comments Off on Golden Rule