The Golden Rule is not just about being nice to people [Time Out]

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Time Out quiet times for the youth worker's soul

Time Out: Weekly quiet times for the youth worker’s soul.
by Adam Wormann

I still remember 5th grade gym class. You know, the year that you have to start changing for gym and it’s incredibly awkward. In the gym itself, Mr. Thompson had a little sign up that said, “The Golden Rule: Treat everyone like you want to be treated.” I always wished other kids would look at that a little bit more. I don’t think I gave as much thought as to whether or not I was doing it myself. I think that’s usually the way it is.

It’s said that a lot of religions had this principle before Jesus, and just about every major religion contains it. That’s okay, it’s a good principle, and there are some teachings in other religions that overlap and are good principles. If you look at how Jesus says this one though, he does differentiate it a bit. Take a look at what Jesus says in Luke 6:31.

Typically we think, just be nice to people like you want them to be to you. Look at this passage though. Jesus isn’t just saying to be nice to people. He’s going to a much bigger extreme. He’s saying be generous to those who would hurt you. The ones who treat you unfairly – treat them well. Help them. Go out of your way for them. This isn’t just, “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.” No, this is far bigger. This is, “If you don’t have anything nice to say, find something and say it. Then do something nice for them.” Much bigger than the gym class rule.

Jesus puts a huge twist on things, as he normally does. He uses a common teaching, and expands it to a degree that seems incomprehensible. Then, fulfills it on the cross.

I’m sure that there’s people in your life that need grace. Beyond grace, they need extensive kindness, love, and generosity as Jesus teaches. But that’s hard to do. I know it is for me, and I don’t do such a great job of it all the time. It’s what God calls us to though. Think about who in your life has done you wrong. What do you need to do for them. There’s no room for exceptions.

Posted on May 7, 2012

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