What was Once Golden

Luke 6: 31

Treat people the same way you want them to treat you.

Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. That is the way many of us learned this adage. We were taught it is the “Golden Rule.” Perhaps many of you have also taught it to your children and grandchildren. I am thinking of it today in conjunction with “The One Commandment.” Both were spoken by the same teacher. I think of it too in light of James telling us to be doers of the Word, not mere hearers.

The Golden Rule is the fulfilment of the One Commandment to love one another as Jesus loved us. In a very practical sense, the Golden Rule is the extension of the One Commandment. When we put love at the forefront of our lives, we treat people well. One might say, Love requires us to treat others at least as well as we would have them treat us.

These are such simple lessons. They make perfect sense and are easy to teach others. The hard part is in remembering these lessons in everyday life. It is so easy to get caught up in our heads and thoughts that we forget to apply life principles. We are too busy “thinking” and orating that we forget to search our hearts and listen to the voice and teachings of our Lord. It is not that we intentionally minimize Jesus’ principles. We just fail to intentionally apply them. We are so busy in thoughts and philosophical ruminations that we don’t remember to check in with our Lord. We don’t ask him what the guiding principle is in a given situation.

We can think ourselves into a black hole. God has not taught us to be reasoning beings. We are to be believers and not of any philosophy or doctrine but of Jesus alone. We are supposed to follow him and his teachings. That means following the Golden Rule and the One Commandment. They should overshadow our thoughts and philosophies. It sounded so simple when we were children being taught this rule. It made perfect sense. Why now, as adults, do we find it challenging? Have we gotten too smart for our own good? Do we follow our reasoning instead of following Christ?

In these days which are increasingly complicated, the best advice we may hear is to go back to our roots in faith and lean, not on our own understanding and wisdom (Proverb 3: 5), but on that of the Lord; to follow in childlike fashion the words of Jesus. Most of us would relish some simplicity in life right now so here is my contribution to that end, follow the teachings of your youth in simple faith and trust. Call upon God to be the wisdom of your life and to provide answers. Be childlike in your following of the Lord. Let the Golden Rule guide your words and deeds. Keep it simple. Love others as Jesus has loved you. Treat them as Jesus has treated you. Give as Jesus has given. Now, doesn’t that uncomplicate things a little?