The Golden Rule. Has it gone out of style?
Is it a no-longer-relevant, old-fashioned mantra? Has it become something in the memory books from a by-gone era? Really, what happened to the Golden Rule? (Do we even know what it is anymore?)
This is what our Scriptures come to teach: in everything, in every circumstance, do to others as you would have them do to you. Matthew 7:12 VOICE
Somewhere along the way, as we’ve sped down this road of life at high speeds, this standard on which many of us were raised appears to have been thrown out the window. I’m thinking it must have landed between the tire and the pavement and is squashed somewhere on I-380.
Seriously though, we don’t have to look too far to see the world has moved far from this biblical principle. It’s missing in our social media feeds and in today’s headlines. It’s absent in our words and in many of our actions.
Grace does not appear to be abounding, nor does love your neighbor seem to be occurring. I don’t need to remind you here of the many heartless, cruel, demeaning, vengeful, and hateful attitudes we’ve witnessed displayed throughout our country and the world as of late.
It can all get a bit disheartening, can’t it?
Yet, I’ve found myself caught off-guard recently as I’ve encountered a handful of incidences offering me glimmers of hope that the Golden Rule isn’t completely removed in today’s society.
My daughter left her phone in the bathroom stall in Ballpark Village in St. Louis. It wasn’t where she left it minutes later when she returned. Thankfully, a kind soul had turned in her phone at the front desk.
I’ve observed numerous people come to the aid and support of one of a dear friend who found herself facing the unfaithfulness of her husband and the deterioration of their almost quarter-of-a-century marriage.
In the grocery store I happened upon a young man allowing an older woman to move ahead of him in the rather long check out line.
An unknown fellow bicyclist peddled up behind us on the bike trail to inform and warn us of our “strange looking” back tire. (A bicycle tire gone bad is never a safe piece of equipment while riding. But, that’s another story for a different day.)
Maybe, just maybe, the Golden Rule hasn’t gone out of style.
Could it be? It might be on its last leg, just struggling to survive, but it’s not breathed its last breath. Maybe, as with the examples above, it just needs you and me to breathe some life back into it.
I’m always up for a good challenge, aren’t you?
What if you and I began a movement? A movement of doing to others as we want them to do to us? What do you suppose would happen?
Would it make a difference in the workplace and in the classroom? I think it would.
Would it shine light in the grocery store, in the restaurant, on the highway? I believe it might.
Would it bridge the gap between opposing political parties, different races or social or economic classes? I think it could.
What do you suppose would happen if we made the Golden Rule our model in all our relationships, especially with those in our homes? What if we taught it to our children and practiced it in front of them? And, what if we decided to be the change we want to see?
Could practicing the Golden Rule make a difference?
I think it can. I believe it will. And, I also believe God will be glorified when we do.
It’s a good day to return to our roots! May we give ourselves permission to do so.
No, it won’t be easy. I already know there will be days I won’t feel like doing to my husband as I want him to do to me. Or to the person cutting me off on the highway. And, I’m well aware my selfish attitude could easily get the best of me most moments. But, I’m willing to try. I’m willing to put the Golden Rule in front of me and to attempt to live it out daily. (Please have grace with me, though, when I mess it up!)
Lord, help us to thrive each day in your power and in your grace to do to others as we would have them do to us.