“Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” I remember learning to recite this as a child. If I recall correctly, I was taught this to remind me that I shouldn’t be mean to my friends. (Because, as I’ve pointed out before….if you’re mean to your friends, they might not be friends very long!). But, as an adult, I’ve come to view this a little differently.
Because I am a nerd, I googled the phrase “The Golden Rule.” Turns out that we, as Christians, don’t have a corner on the market of the rule. It’s also known as the “ethic of reciprocity.” According to teachingvalues.com, the following religions all have their own form of the rule: Christianity, Confucianism, Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, Taoism and Zoroastrianism. They put a quote for each religion. Since the verse they used for Christianity was given the wrong scripture reference and I wasn’t sure which version they were quoting, I’m not sure how much stock I would put in the others. But, the point is that it’s pretty much a universal (if ignored) rule.
Since I love Jesus, I thought I’d go with the Christian version. Matthew 7:12 is where Jesus tells us to “do unto others.” The King James Version says it this way “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.” But, The Message says it exactly as I’ve come to view it in the last few years….”Here is a simple, rule-of-thumb guide for behavior: Ask yourself what you want people to do for you, then grab the initiative and do it for them. Add up God’s Law and Prophets and this is what you get.”
For me, it’s not so much what I want others to do for me (so, if I bake you a cake, I don’t necessarily expect one in return!). It’s more about how I would want others to treat me in certain situations. If I’m mourning, I want someone to comfort me. If I’m celebrating, I want my loved ones to celebrate with me. If I’m covered up with life’s cares, I want a listening ear and a praying friend. So, I try to do that for others. Because it’s the nice thing to do. Because Jesus said so.
I’ve heard it said to get true joy out of life, try following this….Jesus first, Others second, Yourself last. Need some more joy? Give J-O-Y a try….you might be surprised!
Be blessed and tell someone you love them.