Sunday, January 3, 2016

The Golden Rule

Matthew 7:12So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.”

As you may know, I grew up in a family that considered itself Christian, but never attended church. But one thing that I do remember my parents teaching me was the “Golden Rule”. It comes from the Bible verse above and is a general guide to social order, designed to get us to stop and think before acting. This command of Christ is the famous so-called “Golden Rule” of conduct. What we don’t always catch is that it succinctly summarizes and crystallizes all the instructions given in the Old Testament Scriptures dealing with human interrelationships. I went to a (FRC) Family Research Council conference, where the keynote speaker stated that if our Congress would follow the “golden Rule” then we would not be having the problems that we are having in our country today on Capital Hill. I’d add that if all parents practiced and taught this Golden Rule at home to their families, we would have much less trouble in our society and culture. After all, the Lord taught it.

I read that it should be stressed, however, that this maxim is not meant to be a prerequisite for salvation. No mere human being ever obeys this rule perfectly, any more than one can keep perfectly the Ten Commandments. It was included by Christ as part of what is known as the Sermon on the Mount. The Golden Rule is a Christian standard by which we should seek to order our personal lives, not to be saved, but because we are saved. The natural “fallen” man in a “survival of the fittest” world would see this Rule as a weakness in the self-centered culture of today. Their ‘What’s in it for me?” maxim would more likely be: “Do to other before they do to me”. We cannot expect the sinful world to accept or live out biblical values and virtues, but we can be the light of the world, reflecting Christ, with love, joy and peace.

Be ye therefore perfect,” said the Lord, “even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect”Matthew 5:48. No one - except Christ Himself, in His humanity - has ever perfectly kept the Golden Rule or been sinlessly perfect. Nevertheless, our standard can be nothing less. “Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect,” said the apostle Paul: “but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus” – Philippians 3:12. And so should we. Always remember and live out the Golden Rule.

In Christ, Brian

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