Time to return to the golden rule

Time to return to the golden rule
                        

“It costs $0.00 to treat someone with respect.” —Unknown.

I realize what’s been going on in this country for the past three weeks. I actually am writing this a week before you read it; my hope is all the violence has stopped by the time you do and people are making their voices heard in a more peaceful manner. I’ve seen some of the videos, and I wonder why, and I pray justice will be done quickly. However, this column will not be about my analysis of what is going on. The events of the last few weeks got me thinking about Jesus and the golden rule.

If we want to really live in the land of the free, we must treat others the same way we would want to be treated. This is not just some high and lofty goal to aspire to; this is as simple as asking oneself, “Am I treating this person the way I would like them to treat me?” If the answer is “no,” then what would be the point in going ahead and treating them badly? If we treat someone badly, then are we saying subconsciously they can treat us badly as well? We would never give anyone permission to treat us badly, so why treat other people the way we don’t want to be treated?

Our society is so unjust, and the need to take matters into our own hands seems to be so great. We want justice now, not tomorrow. So do we think it is on ourselves to get justice because if God doesn’t bring us justice, who will?

In the Bible justice is a major theme. God is a God of justice. He will balance our account in the end. In Luke 18:1-8 we have the parable of the persistent widow. A widow kept asking an unjust judge for justice against her adversary. The judge refused to do so, but she kept on him until he gave her justice. In fact the judge gave her justice so she would not beat him down by coming and asking for it all the time. At the end Jesus commended the woman for her faith and even asked if he would find anyone with that kind of faith when he returns?

One thing I never understood is when people say they wish something would change, like people would start treating others better, then we see them mistreat someone else. It is too easy to say one thing and then forget and do the opposite. I like to believe when people do that, they just get caught up in the moment. However, some people just like to hear themselves talk. My question is do we just like to hear ourselves talk? If we do something wrong to other people, would we like them to pay us back? Of course not. We would like them to treat us with respect, so we should treat them with respect.

We should make every effort to treat people how we would like to be treated. What if they don’t deserve it? Jesus never added “unless they deserve it” when he told his disciples about the golden rule. God will give people what they deserve; it is not our job. Let’s say somebody tells us someone talked bad about us. We can just say it’s not true if that is the case. Maybe they added things to make us look bad. Just tell the person the truth. I see nothing in the Bible where we can’t stand up for ourselves.

We need to make sure if we stand up for ourselves, we don’t talk bad about the other person. We can say maybe they didn’t have all the facts or maybe they heard it from someone else. Give people the benefit of the doubt — yes, it may make us look bad, but by the way we conduct ourselves, people will see that maybe the rumors are not true.

Also, I think if we treat people the way we would want them to treat us, maybe they will pass it on to someone else. We don’t realize the difference we have in another person’s life when we treat them how we want to be treated. Who knows? We might just start something.


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