© 2010 • Hillcrest Church of Christ
by Danny Boggs
Jesus taught, “So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets” (Matthew 7:12). What better way to relate to other people? When we think seriously about alternate ways of living, it’s easy to see that Jesus’ rule is still golden.
Some people live by the iron rule: “Do to others before they do to you.” They believe that might makes right. “If I have the power, then why not?” “Why not, if I’m smart enough?” “If I have the money, what’s to stop me?” The iron rule breeds Hitlers and Husseins. It populates prisons. It causes untold heartache for the innocent.
Most people live by the bronze rule: “Do to others as they do to you.” We want to be decent and not mean. We will not go out of our way to hurt somebody, but we won’t overexert ourselves being good to others either. We will just react and treat others the way they treat us.
The silver rule seems an improvement: “Do not do to others what you do not want them to do to you.” This rule of life doesn’t hurt, but it doesn’t help either. It’s not enough. Jesus will judge us by the good we have done or left undone (Matthew 25:31-46).
The golden rule sums up all our responsibilities to others and is based on God’s settled Word. Living by it, we choose to do right, no matter the circumstances or consequences. Everything Jesus ever did on earth in relationship to others was according to this rule.
By which rule do you live? May we help you to find God’s power for living by the golden rule?