“In everything, therefore, treat people the same way you want them to treat you, for this is the Law and the Prophets.” (Matthew 7:12)
I struggle to love well. Sure I’m nice to those who are nice to me, and as long as you don’t do or say anything to upset me, I’m pretty good to you.
But, in everything? In everything, treat others as I want to be treated?
I want others to give me grace when I’m having a bad day or not walking in the Spirit. I want others to make me dinner when I’m tired. I want others to appreciate me and thank me and affirm me.
Yet, I am not so good at doing that for others. If I want to feel appreciated, seems like I should be the most appreciative to those around me. If I don’t to be gossiped about, then I shouldn’t gossip about others. If I want to be shown grace, then I should be the most gracious. If I want to be blessed, then I should be a blessing.
Instead, I’m usually selfish and I expect others to be selfless.
The way we love others really matters to God. In fact, the way we love others expresses our theology. So much so that Jesus tells us several times in the gospels that loving others sums up the Law and the Prophets. This is the heart of God, to love well. And not to love because we will be loved well back, but just to love well.
I don’t love well because the other person loved me first. I love well because Christ first loved me. My love for others, the way I treat others, should be a response to what Christ has done for me.
I don’t keep track of wrongdoings, or treat others well because they made me dinner or sent me a nice note in the mail. I treat them well regardless. I treat them well even if they’ve hurt me. I treat them the way I would want to be treated.
This is the heart of the Gospel. God loved us while we were His enemies. We are to love the enemies of God and treat them well in hopes that we’ll get to reflect that Christ-like love to them.
- How are you doing following this Golden Rule?
- Do you struggle to show grace to those around you? Why or why not?
- What are some ways you want to be treated? How can you do the same for others?