“The One and Only Golden Rule” ( Matthew 7:12 WYC ) by Carley Evans


Therefore all things, whatever things ye will that men do to you, [and] do ye to them, for this is the law and the prophets.

Almost every person – at least every person who grew up in the Western world – knows this saying of Jesus. Jesus says, “If you want it done to (or for) you, then by all means be sure you do it for (or to) others.”

Don’t be spewing hate at other people if you don’t like hate spewed at you. Don’t throw rocks at dogs if you don’t want dogs to bite you. Don’t drop a nuclear weapon on your enemy if you don’t want a nuclear weapon dropped on your neighborhood. Don’t steal from your government if you don’t want your government to steal from you. Don’t cheat on your spouse if you don’t want your spouse to cheat on you. Don’t whisper and gossip about poor Mrs. Jones down the block if you don’t want Mrs. Jones to whisper and gossip about you.

And so on.

Except Jesus says one more thing. He says that the so-called Golden Rule is the sum – the whole – of the Law and the Prophets. The Golden Rule is the whole shebang.

Yes, yes! I hear you. The first part is critical to the second part – Jesus says to love the Lord your God with your all, with everything you have, everything you are. But He also reminds that if you do not love the one you see next door, how can you possibly love the One you can not see!

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“Fulfill The Law Of Christ” ( Galatians 6: 2, ESV ) by Carley Evans


“Bear [or carry] one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.” Yet within the next few sentences of his letter to the Galatians, Paul adds: “For each will have to bear his own load.” (Galatians 6: 4)

 

Carry your own load, but look to your neighbor — to help him bear his load. Look to your neighbor — not for help with your own burdens — but in order to help him carry his.

 

Jesus says, “You have heard it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends His rain on the just and on the unjust.” (Matthew 5: 43-45)

 

So, Jesus is saying that it is not enough to help your neighbor; you must also help your enemy carry his burden. And when you examine this, of course your enemy necessarily carries a heavier burden than does your neighbor. Your enemy’s burden includes hatred, vengeance, bitterness, rage. How do you help one such as this with a load so enormous? Jesus gives us the answer — through prayer.

 

“If you love those who love you, what reward do you have?” asks Jesus. “You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” (Matthew 5: 46, 48)