“And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise.”
I can remember as a child attending public schools hearing “The Golden Rule” taught and emphasized. For some reason, this was a childhood lesson that remained with me until now. I do not ever remember associating it with a verse of the Bible, but I do recall having it rehearsed to me on a number of occasions. Although I have not always lived by it, it remains a basic, tested, and trustworthy standard to help with many of the decisions I face daily.
Principles such as the one found in this Scripture can help us immensely to simplify the process of knowing what is appropriate in a given situation. How can I know the way to respond when criticized? What should I do if someone asks me for a helping hand? When I hear rumors about someone, should I pass them on to others? How should I treat my parents, my friend, my teacher, my spouse, and my neighbor? Should I go out of my way to help those in need? The Golden Rule gives us sound advice that directly applies to questions such as these and hundreds of others.
When we are not sure what to do, it will always be safe to follow our Lord’s instruction, “As ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise.” Treat others the way you would like to be treated. Speak to others the way you would like to be spoken to. Help others the way you would like others to help you. Give others the same consideration you would like to have extended to you. It is remarkable how often this approach to our attitudes and actions will lead us to the proper response or behavior. In Matthew 7:12, we are given this principle with somewhat different language, “whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.” What a powerful demonstration of the practicality of this rule of life; the messages of the Old Testament law and prophets could be understood and applied by living out the Golden Rule.
What an important lesson God wants to teach us. If we would treat others the way we want to be treated, there would be no unkind words, no murder, no gossip or slander, no dishonesty or deception, no betrayal, no unforgiveness, etc. May God write this insight on the table of our hearts and may we, by His grace, learn to live by it.