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"Whatsoever ye would that men should do to you..."

“Whatsoever ye would that men should do to you…”

This morning we are going to look at Matthew 7:12, which many people call "the Golden Rule". Many people are not aware of this statement of Jesus, and some misuse its application. Let us consider these words of Christ.

Some have supplemented other rules in place of the "golden rule". There is the "silver rule", do unto others so that they'll do unto you, motivated by greed. There is the "bronze rule", do unto others as they have done unto you, motivated by revenge. Also, some use the "copper rule", do unto others as you expect they'll do unto you, which proceeds from suspicion, and finally, the "iron rule", do unto others before they do unto you, which comes from malice.

Jesus tells us, Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them…” The motivation is not greed, but goodness. It causes us to act from a genuine concern for the welfare of others. We ought to treat others in the same way we would want to be treated ourselves. The Lord's command is a reflection of God's love for us, for He does not deal with us as we deserve.  In Psalm 103:8-18,  “The LORD is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy. He will not always chide: neither will he keep his anger forever. He hath not dealt with us after our sins; nor rewarded us according to our iniquities. For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is His mercy toward them that fear Him. As far as the east is from the west, so far hath He removed our transgressions from us. Like as a father pitieth his children, so the LORD pitieth them that fear Him. For He knoweth our frame; He remembereth that we are dust. As for man, his days are as grass: as a flower of the field, so he flourisheth. For the wind passeth over it, and it is gone; and the place thereof shall know it no more. But the mercy of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting upon them that fear Him, and His righteousness unto children's children; To such as keep His covenant, and to those that remember His commandments to do them.”  He rewards us according to His own goodness, even towards those who are enemies. In Romans 5:6-10 we read, For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet perhaps for a good man some would even dare to die. But God commendeth His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him. For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. The Lord expects His children to be like Him.  In Matthew 5:44-45 we read, But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for He maketh His sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.” Therefore, we must practice the "golden rule".

Consider that the Lord's rule is proactive, not reactive. It doesn't wait for others to do first, it commands that we take the initiative. James tells us in James 4:17, "Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.” Again, James tells us in James 1:22 "But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.”

Let us be followers of the golden rule, seeking to do unto others as we would have them do unto us. Again, we must act from a genuine love and concern for others, and to truly apply the rule, we must act first.


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