by Charles R. Swindoll
"Therefore, however you want people to treat you, so treat them, for this is the Law and the Prophets" (Matt. 7:2). That single sentence is perhaps the most famous statement Jesus ever made. It is the "Everest of Ethics," as one man put it. In some ways it is the cornerstone of true Christianity, certainly the capstone of Jesus' Sermon on the Mount.
I appreciate the positive emphasis. Instead of saying, "Don't do this," He says, "Do this." If you have wondered about how to get started in a lifetime of simple faith, here it is.
- The principle? Modeling must accompany our message.
- You want to be forgiven? Forgive.
- You need affirmation? Affirm.
- You feel hurt, wounded, broken, and could stand a gentle touch? Be gentle with others.
- You have discovered the value of tact when something sensitive needed to be addressed? Be tactful.
The examples are endless. Unfortunately, models of such greathearted behavior are rare. Is it any wonder the non-Christian world looks with suspicion in our direction?
The best part of the whole principle? It is so simple. Living by the Golden Rule prevents the need for laying down an endless list of little rules and regulations to govern conduct. Just put yourself in the other person's place and think, What is it I would need if I were him or her? And then? Do it. When you do, you will fulfill the essence of "the Law and the Prophets."
Do you know the greatest message we can deliver? It is the message of Christlike character. No message on earth is more needed or more powerful.
You want to impact your family, your church, your community, your place of employment? You want to make a difference in the life of your mate, a family member, a friend (Christian or not), some person in the workplace? Demonstrate the characteristics of Christ.
It has been said that the only Bible most folks ever read is the daily life of the Christian. If that is true, I believe the world needs a revised version. Our problem is not that too many of us are being ignored; it's that we are all being observed!
Words fitly spoken are powerful,
but they are nothing compared to the power of a life fitly lived.
Reprinted by permission. Day by Day, Charles Swindoll, July 2005, Thomas Nelson, inc., Nashville, Tennessee. All rights reserved. Purchase "Day by Day" here.