Many folks know the Golden Rule and know what it says. But I wonder if we’ve thought about its implications.
In Matthew 7:12, Jesus said: “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.” (New Living Translation)
Now, we know what it says, don’t we? Very simply, it says that we are to treat others the same way we would want them to treat us. Since we want to be treated fairly in a business deal, then we are to do business fairly. Since we want people to sympathize with us when we are going through trials, then we are to sympathize with others. Since we want people to encourage us, then we are to encourage them. On and on we could go.
That’s simple … and yet the implications are profound!
In this law that Jesus said is the essence of everything taught in Scripture, God is saying, “Do you want to live in a society that is as close to Heaven on earth as you can get? Then treat others the way you want to be treated. And by the way, that is at the core of all of the instruction found in the Bible. In Scripture, I show you how to think about Me, yourself and others and I tell you how to treat others in a way that you would love to be treated. And if everyone were to take My Word seriously by reading it and putting it into practice, society would become a utopia … a Heaven on earth with each citizen being treated exactly as they expect and desire to be treated.“
Of course, a major variable is that our sin problem and the ramifications of living in a sinful world will not be overcome in this life. We will always have hearts that keep us from doing what we desire and causing us to do things we know we shouldn’t do (Romans 7:19). We also cannot escape the sickness, pain, death, discord, etc. that comes from living in a sin-sick world. So, a utopia here on this present earth is impossible. Yet, that doesn’t negate the fact that if God’s Word could be lived out perfectly, utopia would be the end result. In truth, every believer will one day live in a utopia in which we will carry out the Golden Rule perfectly. It’s called Heaven.
Wouldn’t it be incredible if we actually tried to put Matthew 7:12 into practice as a society? Will you put it into practice today?