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.
Matthew 7:12 KJV
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 NASB
We’re coming up on “back to school” time here in the United States. Little ones are facing the first day of preschool, kindergarten or first grade. Other students are looking forward to the first day of high school or the first day of their senior year. Still others who have said goodbye to their high school years will walk onto the college campuses that will ultimately become their beloved alma maters. Some have opted for military service, which means they will be staring into the faces of drill sergeants and you guessed it: boot camp!
Musing on the fact that we’re into the back-to-school season automatically causes me to think about the school days rhyme from back in the day. “School days, school days; good old Golden Rule days.” When delivering His famous Sermon on the Mount, Jesus shared a message filled with practicality. His sermon was designed to teach us how to please God and live peaceably with one another as earthly citizens who are also citizens of a heavenly kingdom.
He instructs us not to judge one another unfairly, and admonishes us against becoming fixated on others’ faults and being oblivious to our own. We are also not to give holy things to people who will disdainfully treat the holy things – and us – as trash underfoot. Jesus then moves into the reasons why we can confidently, and in faith, petition our heavenly Father for what we desire. If we, being imperfect, care enough about our children to give them good gifts, how much more will a perfect, holy God respond positively to His children? Jesus then draws a correlation between His Father’s behaviors and our own. Just as we want others to treat us, we should treat them the same way.
Seems simple, right? Yet, you and I both know that man’s sinful nature gets in the way. Without Christ and the indwelling power of the Holy Spirit, we are selfish and self-serving. We are quick to want to receive good treatment, but a sinful mindset makes us slow to give good treatment. Thank God for Jesus, who gives us His strength and grace, and always causes us to triumph.
Some students experience school days year-round – let’s live “Golden Rule days” year-round!