January 18, 2017

I had a great mom.  I know everyone is not as lucky, but I was truly blessed.  My mom was there to love and encourage me.  She was an amazing lady.  She taught my brother and I the “Golden Rule,” and she was constantly reminding us to treat others the way we wanted to be treated.

My younger brother, Steve and I got along pretty well, but you know brothers will fight! My mom did not let it slide, however!  I can hear her now, “Whoa, wait a minute, you just took his toy, is that how you want him to treat you?! You just called him a name, is that how you want him to treat you?” She would then say, “Let  me tell you about the golden rule:  you’re gonna do unto others as you would have them do unto you, I’m not gonna put up with this.”

In this world we live in today, it is so important  for Christ followers to remember to practice the golden rule. I’ve been thinking about this a lot and here are three reasons why we need this rule in our lives.

I’ve become concerned that we are a culture that has become so selfish.  Messages we receive focus so much on “me.” Everything is about what I DESERVE. It is MY happiness, MY pleasure and MY wants.  I don’t think this is something that is new or unique to this time in history  People have been selfish throughout the ages and it is a part of human nature, but we live in a culture that seems to encourage and foster selfishness.

The other thing that is concerning me in our culture is a loss of our sense of civility. We have found it so easy to be mean, to be so critical, to humiliate people, to tear people up, to say things that are just so unkind. I think this happens for a lot of reasons, but for one, you turn on the TV and immediately see evidence of this.  Talk shows where two people are sitting there to talk and they just holler at one another, neither is listening. Or how about reality shows, where in order to win, you lie, steal and cheat? Or sitcoms where the humor is in how many one line zingers are used to make another feel bad? I am hitting the mute button and changing the channel! I won’t put up with it anymore!

The age of technology we are living in is wonderful in so many ways. I love the toys I’m getting to play with in my day and time! But at the same time, there’s another side of that technology that I think has helped us to become uncivil to each other. Through the Internet, email, social media, we’re able to say such horrible things to faceless people that we would never say face-to-face and it becomes so painful. We all see it happen. It just grieves my heart to see how we are losing that sense of civility and sense of manners.

I wish I could make the whole world live by the golden rule.  It would be a great world, but I cannot. The only person I can make live by the golden rule is me! And this might just be enough to make a change. If each of us would commit to practicing this rule, we can begin to shift things in our own lives and the ripple effect will be powerful.  Jesus’s words are clear in Matthew 7:12, do unto others as you would have them do unto you for this is the law and the prophets.  Let us focus on following this rule in our lives and let go of trying to control the actions of others or even how others respond.