The Golden Rule

Escalate situations or diffuse situations? Do you know how and when to do this? More importantly are you able to escalate, expand, step-up, increase, intensify love, peace and joy and cause them to grow into reality in your life and others? How about diffusing, scattering, disbursing angry, jealousy, envy and strife?

Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets. Matt 7:12 (KJV)

We have just read what is known as the Golden Rule. This verse is found in the context of the Sermon on the Mount. It is the rule of human relationships. Jokes have been made about the Golden Rule. One is the Golden Rule is he who has the gold makes the rules. The truth is the one who has the gold makes the rules. But the one who has the gold is not Bill Gates, Steve Forbes or other rich men on this earth. The one who has the gold is God. God has the wealth of eternity. He has the real gold. He has the gold of eternal life.
So God sets the rules.

One of Gods rules for man is “In everything do to others as you would have them do unto you; for this is the law and the prophets.” Matt 7:12 (NRSV)

Just what does this rule mean? It is the means of establishing the way men are to treat one another on the earth.

This rule or others very similar to it have been spoken by other philosophers. But they have spoken it in a negative manner. Hillel, renowned Jewish rabbi, said to a follower, “What is hateful to yourself, do to no other; that is the whole Law and the rest is commentary. Go and learn.” There is a story in the Letter of Aristreas of a Jewish scholar who instructed an Egyptian king, “As you wish that no evil should befall you, but to be a partaker of all good things, so you should act on the same principle towards your subjects and offenders.”

One of Gods rules for man is “In everything do to others as you would have them do unto you; for this is the law and the prophets.” Matt 7:12 (NRSV)
This statement is found in the writings of Confucius, the Stoics and in the Hymns of faith of Buddhism. They are similar but they are negative. They say, “don’t do anything to anyone that you would not want them to do unto you.” But Jesus said, “In everything do to others as you would have them do unto you; for this is the law and the prophets”. Matt 7:12 (NRSV)

Jesus stated the rule in the positive. He takes it from the realm of avoidance to the realm of pro action. When these rules are all stated in the negative the object of the rule is self. The entire object of the negative rule is to live with your fellow man in such a way that you would not do anything to them that you would not want done to yourself. The core of the rule stated in the negative is I. I won’t harm you because I don’t want you to harm me.

Jesus’ statement and the context of the Sermon on the Mount are a shift of the way man looked at things. In the Sermon on the Mount Jesus says to the listeners Matt 5:21-22 ye have heard that it was said to them of old time. Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment: but I say unto you, that every one who is angry with his brother shall be in danger of the judgment. (ASV) Man accepted that you were not to murder, and if a man murdered the judgment was death. Jesus said if you are angry with your brother you are in danger of the same punishment. He is taking the teaching of man that barred outward acts and allowed inward rage and thoughts to boil and churn in the heart of man and changing them. Jesus said in your heart you must have a different attitude toward one another. He was taking things to a higher level. The level he was going to was that you are not to be angry with your brother in your heart. He is raising the standard.

So when we read what we call the Golden Rule we are at a new level in human relationships. I no longer avoid treating you bad, because I don’t want to be treated badly. I treat you the way I want to be treated. The focus is shifting from not treating you bad because I don’t want to be treated bad to I treat you the way I want to be treated. The focus than becomes you instead of me.

The golden rule then is the rule of conduct in human relationships. If at anytime you have a question in your mind of the way you are to treat your fellow man then it is found in this verse. You are to treat them in the way that you want to be treated.
The golden rule then is the rule of conduct in human relationships. If at anytime you have a question in your mind of the way you are to treat your fellow man then it is found in this verse. You are to treat them in the way that you want to be treated. So God gives us the Golden Rule of human relationships. This rule if followed in every situation will stop the escalations of human tensions. It is the handle we can use to catch hold of our emotions.
The compass of this rule is the entire scope of human relationship. It encompasses every phase of human interaction. It puts the breaks on all the negative things we do to one another and it releases all the positive things we want in our life to be spread to one another.

This rule calls us from a life of complacency to a life of thought and actions. You see that when Jesus was on this earth and was teaching man face to face was raising man to a higher level. He was not just raising man to a higher level just by social rules. He was giving rules that men are to live. He is expecting men to live this golden rule. In his speaking this rule face to face with man while walking on this earth he was speaking it to us. When we read this rule the command and grasp of it is to us as well as to the disciples and followers of Jesus that sat on the grassy hillside and were first hand witnesses to this message. When we read this rule we are not exempt from following it. The demand of this rule is on our life as well as it was on the lives of those followers of Jesus that saw him in the flesh.

Jesus demands that we listen to his voice and follow his commands. He also demands that we become men and women of discipline. If you are going to treat others the way you want to be treated than you have to discover the way you want to be treated. How do you want others to treat you?

I’m asked many questions on the subject of How! How do I know that I’m saved? How do I love when I’m angry all the time? How do I lose weight? Why do I have no joy?

I would say that if you were hearing today “do unto others, as you would have them do unto you.” You might be like me saying this sounds to me like does the chicken come before the egg or the egg before the chicken. If I let my mind go I could really run all over the place: Like well, if I don’t like someone or don’t want to be bothered with someone, how would I treat him or her. Well I guess I should put the shoe on the other foot, maybe they don’t like me and want to get rid of me, how would I want that person to treat me?

If you want the Golden Rule to work toward you you must live the Golden Rule. Start with Golden, which means fair be fair, plays fair. Rule, your guide. Use a fair measure. Make your life a golden rule. Do you keep a ruler on your desk that says, “Do unto others, as you would have others do unto you”. And, always remember there are 12 inches in a foot. That is how you measure by inches, a foot, a yard, it keeps escalating and growing and increasing but always by the fair measure of the ruler.

My Mother always made sure that our school rulers had that one statement on it, and did her best to assure that we lived by it. And, then I always tried to make sure our sons carried the same ruler with them and hopefully lived by the Golden Rule.

I also keep close by a list of wisdom words that help me when I need to escalate a situation or diffuse a situation. I would like to share them with you today:

30 Phrases of Wisdom

1. Anger is a condition in which the tongue works faster than the mind.
2. You can’t change the past, but you can ruin the present by worrying
over the future.
3. Love … and you shall be loved.
4. God always gives His best to those who leave the choice with Him.
5. All people smile in the same language.
6. A hug is a great gift. One size fits all. It can be given for any
occasion and it’s easy to exchange.
7. Everyone needs to be loved … especially when they do not deserve it.
8. The real measure of a man’s wealth is what he has invested in eternity.
9. Laughter is God’s sunshine.
10. Everything has beauty but not everyone sees it.
11. It’s important for parents to live the same things they teach.
12. Thank God for what you have, TRUST GOD for what you need.
13. If you fill your heart with regrets of yesterday and the worries of
tomorrow, you have no today to be thankful for.
14. Happy memories never wear out…. Re-live them as often as you want.
15. Home is the place where we grumble the most, but are often treated the
best.
16. Man looks at outward appearance but the Lord looks within.
17. The choice you make today will usually affect tomorrow.
18. Take time to laugh, for it is the music of the soul.
19. If anyone speaks badly of you, live so none will believe it.
20. Patience is the ability to idle your motor when you feel like stripping
your gears.
21. Working through conflicts together strengthens love.
22. The best thing parents can do for their children is to love each other.
23. Harsh words break no bones but they do break hearts.
24. To get out of a difficulty, one usually must go through it.
25. We take for granted the things that we should be giving thanks for.
26. Love is the only thing that can be divided without being diminished.
27. Happiness is enhanced by others but does not depend upon others.
28. You are richer today if you have laughed, given or forgiven.
29. For every minute you are angry with someone, you lose 60 seconds of happiness that you can never get back.
30. Do what you can, for whom you can, with what you have, and where you are.

This is from “The Golden Rule” a radio message by Gary & Sara Mullennex. The entire message can be obtained on audio cassette from The Rose of Sharon by writing to:
ROSSOL, P O Box 688, Leesburg, VA 20178
Please include a check for $6.00 and request tape “The Golden Rule”

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2 thoughts on “The Golden Rule”

  1. I like this one. It has been said, a lot of people think the Bible is a book of “don’ts,”
    but it is a book of “dos!” N.C.

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