Sunday, April 19

Simple…but not easy

Scripture: 1 Samuel 23, Psalm 31, 54, Matthew 7

Matthew 7:12 Do to others whatever you would like them to do to you. This is the essence of all that is taught in the law and the prophets.

Observation

Commonly called “the Golden Rule”, this verse is included in Jesus’ famous “Sermon on the Mount,” a collection of Jesus’ teaching for His followers.  It is called the Golden Rule because of what Jesus said about it: “This is the essence of all that is taught in the law and the prophets.”  He said something similar about the Great Commandment (love God with all you’ve got and love your neighbor as yourself): “The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments.”  (Matthew 22:35-40)

Said another way: “love your neighbor as yourself” is another way of saying, “do to others whatever you’d like them to do to you.”  And when you do this, you fulfill all that God requires of you socially.  

It’s genius!  Jesus makes it so simple (not the same as easy!).  In every situation, I can simply ask myself, “How do I want to be treated?” and do that for my neighbor.  Again…not easy, but simple.  

Application

So, let’s start at home, since that’s where we are spending almost all our time!  How do you want to be treated at home?  You’d like others to respect your space and things.  You’d like others to serve you (go ahead and admit it!) and be helpful.  You’d like others to listen when you talk.  You’d like others to respect your wishes.  (You can make your own more specific list.). Today, do those things for the people in your family or household.  (I’m home alone with Laina and trying to imagine what I can do for her!)

Then expand it to those outside.  Do you feel lonely and wish someone would call you?  Then call someone who is lonely.  What would you like others to do for you?  Go ahead and do it for them—right now.

Then—and this is where it gets difficult—expand it to those you don’t like.  Got a neighbor who’s driving you crazy?  Someone at work that you wish would leave?  Someone who’s treating you badly?  This is where love gets real!  What do you wish that person would do for you?  Do it for them—and see what happens!

Prayer: Lord, it’s so simple…but not so easy.  We need your help—your grace and strength and love.  Please fill us!