In everything do to others as you would have them do to you; for this is the law and the prophets. (Matthew 7:12 NRS).
Most of us have done this at one time or another. We're reading a very familiar passage of Scripture and something jumps off the page at us. It's been there all along, but we just haven't seen it ... at least not with the clarity that we suddenly see it this time.
This happened to me recently when reading Jesus' words known as The Golden Rule. For some reason, I hadn't really noticed the two word phrase, "in everything." Wow! How did I miss this point all these years?
The Golden Rule was the subject of one of my earliest Heartlight articles — well actually, in those days, it was a two minute radio spot. I caught myself rushing through a nearby neighborhood as a shortcut. I was frustrated at folks driving so slowly and costing me time getting to work.
"Why in the world would these people not even drive the speed limit? Don't they know this is my shortcut?" I asked myself at the time.
Then, I felt a deep conviction as the Spirit nudged my heart and helped me see things more clearly. Parents were getting their kids off to school. Some children were waiting at bus stops. Several young moms were walking with their babies in strollers.
"Don't you understand that this is their neighborhood?"
"Wouldn't you want folks to drive considerately through your neighborhood as you're walking or getting your kids off to school?"
I didn't hear these questions in an audible voice, but I knew who was helping me ask them of myself! Suddenly, the Spirit convicted me with the words of Jesus: "Do to others as you would have them do to you."
As I read The Golden Rule recently, the Lord confronted me to step up and live The Golden Rule in a much bigger way. I'm supposed to practice this principle "in everything ..." Not practice it here or there, or or do it when it is easy to do, but I'm to do it ... "in everything"!
Think of all the places this "in everything" perspective impacts. It changes how I must treat waiters, waitresses, counter people at the grocery store, department store clerks, neighbors, people on the freeway, my family, folks who are rude ... on and on I could go.
"In everything ..." means that The Golden Rule is supposed to become my daily lifestyle all the time. It must become your lifestyle, too!
So let's get after it! Let's have this principle of Jesus invade all areas of our lives, and let's begin right where we are, today. Where are some places you need to let this principle of Jesus impact your behavior more? I'd love to hear from you because what you find in your life that needs to be changed by this principle is a place where most of need to make a change, too.
You can respond on my blog at the following address: