Christianity 401: The Golden Rule
Let’s continue our “Graduate Level Christianity” by looking closely at some more of Jesus’s toughest teachings - His relational commands for us, most of which are found in Luke 6, verses 27-36. Jesus’s next command is widely known as the “Golden Rule:” “And as you wish that others would do to you, do so to them” (Luke 6:30). The Golden Rule is an ethical maxim found in almost all religions and cultures. This truth is not the sum of Jesus’s teachings, but rather the center of them. It could be encapsulated in this simple phrase: How to treat others. How should we treat others? Cultivate empathy in our relationships: Empathy is the foundation for great friendships. When we empathize with others, our thoughts and behavior toward them will follow suit. When rightly practiced, empathy is God’s way to rid ourselves of inequality of all kinds of other evils as well. A practical way to apply this principle is to do this: Make a list of the ways you wish others would treat you. Perhaps with kindness, respect, gentleness, etc. Then use that list to guide your behavior toward others. We do reap what we sow in every area of life - especially with relationships. And when we practice the Golden Rule, we will have deeper and more meaningful friendships. That’s the message Jesus wanted all of us to learn with this teaching.