Wednesday, June 12, 2013

The Golden Rule

"Therefore, whatever you want me to do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets." [Matt 7:12]

"The Golden Rule" is one of those teachings of Christ that is so practical and, as I like to put it, "no duh" that it's amazing men have a hard time following it.  The basic principle is to treat others the same way you want to be treated.  Do you want to be respected?  Honored for your hard work?  Given a cup of cold water when you're thirsty?  Then do likewise.  Do you want to be mocked?  Lied to?  Cheated?  Then don't do likewise.

It always drives me crazy in movies and books and some big bad thug or gangster who makes a living off of stealing from and killing people gets outraged when someone steals from him or kills someone close to him.  I always think, "Fool!  Don't you do the same to others every day?  Why should it offend you when the same is done to you??"

Following the Golden Rule can take some effort, especially if you're not used to it.  It requires placing the best interest of others before our own, and in many cases we're not used to that.  It also requires having integrity and doing the right thing, even if nobody would find out.  Right and wrong is not determined by how much trouble we get into or how much praise we receive for our actions, it's determined by the action itself.

In marriage, it means rubbing your spouses shoulders because she's had a long day, even though you did too.  In the office, it means encouraging a coworker who's falling behind and offering to help out, even if he annoys you.  On the athletic field, it means playing by the rules and having a fair game, even if cheating would help you win.

Act with kindness, humility, and integrity at all times, and following the Golden Rule will become second nature.

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