New Use for an Old Rule
Director of Discipleship
One of the most common (and respected) teachings of the Bible is the Golden Rule—“Treat others as you want them to treat you.” Matthew 7:12. Many people learn this principle as children in church or school, and variations of it can even be found in other religions and cultures.
I recently discovered a new use for this time-honored code of behavior in the book, Go and Do: Becoming a Missional Christian by Don Everts. In it, Everts suggests that the Golden Rule can be a handy guide for you to use as you strive to grow in your faith and spiritual usefulness.
- Notice a visitor at church on Sunday morning but not sure what to say?—Ask yourself, “If I was visiting church, how would I want to be treated?”—and then do it!
- Do you work with someone who knows nothing about Jesus?—Ask yourself, “If I didn't know Jesus, how would I want to be introduced?”—and then do it!
- Not sure how to respond to that panhandler hanging out in the Safeway parking lot?—Ask yourself, “If I was reduced to begging for money, how would I want to be treated?”—and then do it!
Often, I wring my hands and feel ineffective at sharing God’s love with people I encounter every day. Applying the Golden Rule takes a seemingly simple adage and gives it profound power in guiding my actions. Everts puts it this way, “Jesus invites us to allow our well-developed ‘self-interest’ muscles to guide our service. We know exactly how we want to be served and cared for, so it’s often perfectly clear to us how we could serve others. As you wish that others would do to you…In this we have great guidance for service.”