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Living By The Golden Rule

Most people have probably heard a paraphrased form of the Golden Rule: Do unto others what you would have them do unto you. How many people actually live by the golden rule? How many people even try?

The full biblical version of the golden rule is:

So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets. (Matthew 7:12 ESV)

That is to say that if we want to be treated with kindness and understanding, we must treat everyone else with kindness and understanding. If we want people to respect us, we must respect everyone else. If we want people to love us, we must love everyone else. Notice that the key here is ‘everyone else’, not just ‘some others’.

We are to treat every single person we come in contact with; in person, online, on the phone, or whatever, how we want to be treated. This is admittedly not easy to do. Let’s face it, some people are difficult to love. Personality clashes can get in the way. Some people are very easy to dislike.

Yet, if we want to be liked and loved, we must like and love all others. That includes the person who cuts you off in traffic, the person who is continuously vulgar, the person who wants to argue with you about anything and everything, the person who calls you names or purposely does things that are hurtful, and the person who thinks totally differently than you do. The only way we can like and love these people is to be humble and to disregard our own pride. If we are prideful, we can’t follow the golden rule because we elevate ourselves above all others in our minds and hearts.

As difficult as it sometimes is to follow the Golden Rule, take a moment to think about what happens when you don’t treat others with the respect, kindness, and love that you desire for yourself. If you are rude to any other person, you are basically saying that you want other people to be rude to you. If you treat any person with hatred, you are saying that you want other people to hate you. If you yell or scream at any other soul, even behind closed doors or where nobody else can hear it, you are saying that you want others to yell or scream at you. Is that honestly what you want?

Whether a person is Christian or not, most people would likely agree that following the golden rule would be a good way to live. The world would certainly be a happier, more loving, and better place if everyone made an honest attempt to be helpful, kind, loving, and considerate, instead of being argumentative, hurtful, hateful, and inconsiderate.

  • Do you follow the golden rule?

    • I don’t believe in the golden rule.
    • I usually don’t even think about it.
    • I try, but I’m often not successful.
    • I’m usually able to follow the golden rule, though once in a while I don’t.
  • Do you think that life, overall, would be better if everyone followed the golden rule?

    • Yes
    • No
  • Are you going to at least try your best to follow the golden rule?

    • Yes
    • No

What do you think?

8 points
Legend

Written by Rex Trulove

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12 Comments

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  1. I have always lived by this rule Rex. It seems to come natural. No matter the situation or how the other person feels or thinks, I can still apply the rule of knowing how I treat them is how I want to be treated. What a wonderful world if we could all do this.

    • This sometimes happens, but you can’t control what other people say and do. You can only control yourself. Therefore, I choose to be thankful for things and often give a prayer of thanks for those things I’m not aware of. Likewise, I give and often make it a point to do so anonymously. If I expect anything at all in return, even a ‘thank you’, it really isn’t a gift that I’m giving.

      • Yes, but if you constantly give and give and give and people don’t appreciate it or never show they appreciate it then it seems they don’t care about it so…
        Also, saying “thank you” sometimes means: “I saw the information you gave me” and not leaving people wondering about it…..
        Being thankful and never showing it to others can look pretty selfish to other people…

        • I understand what you mean. For me, it really comes down to why I give time, effort, or anything else to others. If nobody ever thanked me or acknowledged it in any way, I’d still give. It is part of who I am and it is a huge part of the Christian faith, regardless of whether other Christians give or not. I know that I give and God knows it, so it really doesn’t matter to me if people thank me for it or if they even know.

          I also don’t say “Thank you” unless I mean it. Again, that is just me and who I am.

          • So you would give even if that they maybe don’t thank you because maybe you annoy them and they don’t appreciate you…?

            It is weird you don’t appreciate someone’s help…

          • …it is kind of not logical and quite opposite —– giving and being thankful and not appreciating at the same time, and you say you are Christian…

          • A person can’t be thankful and not appreciate. Yes, I would give even if they didn’t thank me. I’d never force it on anyone but will try to help anyone. It is sort of like the volunteer work my wife does at the clothing bank. People go in to get clothing because they can’t afford to buy clothing. They get the clothing they need for free. A surprising number don’t say thank you. Nobody takes offense to that and it doesn’t stop my wife from volunteering her time and effort to help people in that way.

            Every so often, a person goes in and gets a few articles of clothing and thanks the people working at the clothing bank many times. That is the other side of it. Sometimes people don’t say thank you because they simply forget.

            We helped a couple who’d just had their house burn to the ground. We’ve been through two house fires that destroyed everything, so we knew exactly what they were feeling. They didn’t thank us for the help we gave. However, they were still wrapped up in what was going on and what they were going to do. It wasn’t because they didn’t appreciate it. They weren’t Christians and we are. We told them to pray about it and to trust God, but we didn’t cram it down their throats. We also prayed for them.

            We saw them years later and found out that they had become Christians. That was when they said, “Thank you again so much for helping us when we needed in.” They didn’t even realize that they’d never thanked us in the first place, so there was no “again”. Still, the fact that they thought they had thanked us told me that they’d intended to.

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