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In Touch 05-20-04

In Touch Daily Devotional
by Dr. Charles Stanley

Thursday, May 20
InTouch Early Light Devotional

The Golden Rule of Success
Matthew 7:7-12

Because God wants us to succeed, He has given us a principle to govern our relationships: "In everything, therefore, treat people the same way you want them to treat you . . ." (Matthew 7:12). Though simple, this standard requires divine strength to carry out. Why? Because, as is usual with kingdom principles, it is contrary to the way we think.

Consider the values of generosity and forgiveness. God calls us to imitate Christ and be generous towards others. We have tried it and found that people take advantage of our generosity, so we want to stop. Jesus told Peter to forgive another's repeated sins every time. (Matthew 18:21-22) Jesus Himself forgave those who crucified Him. But often forgiveness does not humanly make sense when we are confronted with betrayal, unethical behavior, or someone who repeatedly wrongs us.

In light of the above principle, how are we to act? Set our attitude toward pleasing God. This involves putting aside our feelings about the other person's behavior toward us and resolving to respond in God's way-the way of faith. (Hebrews 11:6, Gal 2:20) Submit to the control of the Holy Spirit. Refuse to allow "human thinking" to take charge. If the Spirit dominates our thinking, then godly behavior will follow.

Scripture says that whatever we sow, we will reap. (Galatians 6:7) If we sow generosity we will reap generosity from God. If we respond with forgiveness, God will grant us forgiveness as well. (Matthew 6:12) The way we live - in both attitude and action - will determine if we are a success in God's eyes.

Make sure you tune in for this week's message from Dr. Stanley. For expanded studies and outlines of this week's sermon, visit the In Touch Web site.

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