7 Things About The Golden Rule

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“Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”

I remember learning The Golden Rule early in life.

Later in school. . .I learned the modified version.

“Do unto others before they have a chance to do it unto you.”

As an adult, I learned yet another version of The Golden Rule.  This one says:

“If you’ve got the gold. . .you make the rules.”

But all kidding aside, The Golden Rule emanated from scripture.

Specifically, Matthew 7:12 which says:

“Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.”

The Amplified Bible translation of Matthew 7:12 says:

“So then, whatever you desire that others would do to and for you, even so do also to and for them, for this is (sums up) the Law and the Prophets.”

The Message Bible translation of Matthew 7:12 says:

“Here is a simple, rule-of-thumb guide for behavior: Ask yourself what you want people to do for you, then grab the initiative and do it for them. Add up God's Law and Prophets and this is what you get.”

As I was finished reading the Message Bible translation . . .I saw seven things you should know about the gold in the Golden Rule.

1.         What God expects of you.

What does the Bible say is your “rule-of-thumb guide for behavior?”

Mark 12:30-31 in the Amplified Bible says:

“And you shall love the Lord your God out of and with your whole heart and out of and with all your soul (your life) and out of and with all your mind (with your faculty of thought and your moral understanding) and out of and with all your strength. This is the first and principal commandment.

“The second is like it and is this, You shall love your neighbor as yourself. There is no other commandment greater than these.”

Our guide for behavior is simply this. . .

1.         Love God with all your heart.

2.         Love God with all your soul (your life)

3.         Love God with all you mind (your faculty of thought and moral understanding)

4.         Love God with all your strength

5.         Love your neighbor as you love yourself

We’re also instructed to recognize there is no greater commandment than the ones listed in those scriptures.

This guide for Christian behavior is confirmed again in Luke 10:27 in the New Living Translation which says:

“The man answered, “‘You must love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your strength, and all your mind.’ And, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’”

As I was studying this point. . .I realized that Romans 13:8 is also a part of the Believer’s Guide for Behavior. . .a listing of the things we must obey.  It says:

“Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law.”

The Amplified Bible translation of Romans 13:8 provides an even clearer understanding of your scriptural behavior when it says:

“Keep out of debt and owe no man anything, except to love one another; for he who loves his neighbor [who practices loving others] has fulfilled the Law [relating to one's fellowmen, meeting all its requirements].”

Keeping out of debt and owing no man anything. . .is also a part of fulfilling the guidelines. . .the law. . .the model for behavior of every believer.

Think about that. . .

2.         Always asking questions

Luke 2:46 says:

“And it came to pass, that after three days they found him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the doctors, both hearing them, and asking them questions.”

If Jesus was asking questions . . .at any early age.  . .should we do any less?

Now I find it significant that the verse says Jesus heard them and then asked questions.

Here are five things you should know about asking questions…then I’m going to share a profound passage of scripture on asking questions.

First, listen and learn before you ask your questions.

Did you realize the letters which form the word LISTEN also create the word SILENT?

Do think there’s a reason why God gave us two ears and one mouth?  It’s been recommended that perhaps we should listen twice as much as we talk.

Strategic listening. . .will always allow you to ask the right questions.

Second, think creatively. . .then write down your questions.

If you have a mentor or someone who’s opinion you value. . .prepare a list of questions before your conversation.

Write this next sentence down. . .meditate on it.

Your preparation for conversation is an indication of respect and honor.

Third, realize the right question always precedes the right answer.

What is it you want to learn as a result of your questions?

Fourth, remember you’re asking a question. . .not giving a speech.

When in the presence of your mentor or anyone who has information you want and/or need. . .remember you’re not there to impress them by your words. . .you’re there to learn from them.

Fifth, answering a question with a question. . .makes the other person think or come to some sort of self-realization.

One of the best examples of asking the right questions can be found in Genesis 3:8-13 which says:

“And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden.

 9 And the LORD God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou?

 10 And he said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself.

 11 And he said, Who told thee that thou wast naked? Hast thou eaten of the tree, whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldest not eat?

 12 And the man said, The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat.

 13 And the LORD God said unto the woman, What is this that thou hast done? And the woman said, The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat.”

Think before you ask.

3.         What do you want people to do for you?

My Mom and I were talking once and she asked if there was a scripture which I felt defined my life.  Immediately, I told her Ephesians 6:8:

“Knowing that whatsoever good thing any man doeth, the same shall he receive of the Lord, whether he be bond or free.”

If you want to get out of debt. . .sow debt-elimination seeds into the life of a friend or  your church or even the Debt Free Army as we’re helping millions becoming debt free through our teaching of the Word.

When you take this step of faith to help others on their journey to the debt-free lifestyle, it’s amazing how God will get involved and energize your out of debt plan.

The Message Bible translates Ephesians 6:8 like this:

“Good work will get you good pay from the Master. . .”

Over the years I’ve had many people ask me how I can always be so happy even in the midst of difficult circumstances.  It’s because I sow happiness.

Driving down the highway, have you ever had someone wave at you in a passing car you didn’t know?  I’m sure it made you feel good.  In fact, you probably thought, who was that?  Didn’t know they knew me.  By waving at people I don’t know. . .I’m sowing happiness.

Bottom line. . .if you want happiness in your life. . .then sow happiness into the lives of others.  God will do for you what you’ve done for them.

The New International Version of Ephesians 6:8 says:

“The Lord will reward everyone for whatever good he does. . .”

If you want to be rewarded. . .paid and blessed. . .then make it your business. . .your mission. . .your passion to begin blessing other people.

The scripture is very clear. . .you will reap what you sow.

Galatians 6:7 in the Amplified Bible says:

“Do not be deceived and deluded and misled; God will not allow Himself to be sneered at (scorned, disdained, or mocked by mere pretensions or professions, or by His precepts being set aside.) [He inevitably deludes himself who attempts to delude God.] For whatever a man sows, that and that only is what he will reap.”

Don’t kid yourself. . .whatever you sow. . . “that and that only” will you reap.  God is not a man that He should lie and He will not allow Himself to be mocked or His standard of conduct set aside.

It just makes good sense. . .spiritual and natural . . .to do for others what you would have them do for you.

There is an old saying that I’ve adopted as my own. . .in fact, I had this quotation printed on all my notepads for a number of years.

“There is a destiny that makes us brothers. None goes his way alone.  All that you pass into the lives of others will surely come back into your own.”

4.         Grab the initiative

What does initiative mean to you?

According to the Random House Word Dictionary initiative is defined as:

“an introductory act or step; leading action; readiness and ability in initiating action”

Over thirty years ago I saw a powerful saying cross stitched and hanging in a man’s office.  It said:

“Initiative is doing the right thing without being told to do it.”

The best initiative you can demonstrate is not from the minds of men. . .but rather the kind inspired by God.

I’m going to share four verses with you. . .and I suggest you read them at least two or three times.  In fact, I encourage you to have a pen and paper handy so you can make notes on this powerful passage.

Luke 12:29-32 in the Message Bible says:

"What I'm trying to do here is get you to relax, not be so preoccupied with getting so you can respond to God's giving. People who don't know God and the way he works fuss over these things, but you know both God and how he works. Steep yourself in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. You'll find all your everyday human concerns will be met. Don't be afraid of missing out. You're my dearest friends! The Father wants to give you the very kingdom itself.”

SPOILER ALERT.  There are ten things. . .you should glean from the passage. . .but in this teaching I’m only going to focus on the expression “God-initiative.”

Here are seven keys to taking initiative.

First, ask God for His direction and wisdom.  Remember, it’s God-initiative you’re after.

Second, make a commitment to step out in front.  See yourself being successful.

Third, create a game plan.  Put your plan in writing and if you have a supervisor you need to get their approval before taking off on your own.

Fourth, establish a timeline.  You gotta know what you want to have happen and when.

Fifth, monitor your progress. You must inspect what you expect to prevent defects so you can be perfect.

Sixth, overcome any and all obstacles.  If your plan were easy. . .anybody could do it.  If you ask . . .your Heavenly Father will gladly instruct you on the path you should take.

Seventh, enjoy your success as you give God the glory.  Always remember who brought you to the dance. . .who gave you His wisdom and favor and the ability to suceed.

5.         Do it for them.

Have you ever had a defining moment. . .though you may not have recognized it as such. . .where the Holy Spirit nudged you to do something for somebody. . .perhaps even a stranger?

You may have been standing in the checkout line at the grocery store. . .when you kept being distracted by the young mother standing three or four people behind you who’s kids are irritable and restless.

Do you remember the Holy Spirit telling you to trade places in line with them?

You may have been eating dinner at a restaurant when the Spirit of the Lord nudged you to pay for the meals of the older couple sitting next to you?

You could have been walking into church and the Spirit of the Lord nudged you to give a $20 bill or maybe even $100 to someone standing near you or even on the other side of the church?

It could be you were driving home from work, taking a shower or watching television when God laid it on your heart to bless a specific person with either cash or a trip to the grocery store or maybe even a clothing store.

I’m sure you’ve experienced such defining moments in your life.

The Golden Rule. . .like Matthew 7:12 and Ephesians 6:8 is an active spiritual force waiting to be ignited in your life.

It’s easy to bless people in your circle of life. . .meaning people who are close to you and who have the ability to bless you in return.  And that’s okay, if your motivation for giving was directed by God.

However,if you want a spiritual adventure with great reward. . .bless people you don’t even know.

I remember once years ago, the Lord directed my fine wife, Bev, and I to put $10 in an envelope and send it to ten people.  The letter had no return address. . . no way for the people to know where the gift came from.

God allowed Bev to overhear one of the recipients . . .a single mother telling a friend of hers how God had used someone to send her just the right amount of money to pay for some medicine for her young son.

Truthfully, we never heard of any such praise report from the other nine. . .but that didn’t really matter because we had done what God told us to do.

Ephesians 6:8 and Matthew 7:12 were activated in our lives.

God wants you to be a channel of blessing to others.

6.         What does God’s Word say you get?

Luke 6:36 in the Amplified Bible says:

“So be merciful (sympathetic, tender, responsive, and compassionate) even as your Father is [all these].”

When you are merciful you will obtain mercy.

When you are sympathetic you will gain tender compassion.

When you empathize with others. . .God will empathize with you.

Luke 6;37 in the Amplified Bible says:

“Judge not [neither pronouncing judgment nor subjecting to censure], and you will not be judged; do not condemn and pronounce guilty, and you will not be condemned and pronounced guilty; acquit and forgive and release (give up resentment, let it drop), and you will be acquitted and forgiven and released.”

If you don’t judge others. . .you will not be judged.

If you don’t condemn others. . .neither will others condemn you.

If you forgive others. . .you will be forgiven.

Luke 6:38 in the Amplified Bible says:

“Give, and [gifts] will be given to you; good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over, will they pour into [the pouch formed by] the bosom [of your robe and used as a bag]. For with the measure you deal out [with the measure you use when you confer benefits on others], it will be measured back to you.”

If you give gifts to others. . .gifts will be given to you in the same way in which you gave them.

7.         That’s what you get

We live in a natural world (visible) in which there are physical laws such as gravity but we also operate in a spiritual world (invisible) which rules our world that is seen.

There is one law which transcends bot the natural and spiritual worlds . . .it’s the law of reciprocity which is the essence of the Golden Rule.

If you get angry at everybody and with everything. . .then most everybody will be angry at you.

If you smile at everyone. . .people will smile back at you. . .for the most part.

Luke 6:31 in the New Living Translation says:

“Do to others as you would like them to do to you.”

The Golden Rule, in the final analysis, is about sowing and reaping.

Whatever you sow. . .that’s what you will reap.

If you sow happiness. . .happiness will come back into your own life.

If you sow money into the lives of others. . .money will come back into your own life.

Bottom line. . .on The Golden Rule. . .what you give in life to others. . .is what you will get back as a harvest.

But the really good news. . .is what you get is not always from them. . .it’s from Him because the principle was born of God.

Ephesians 6:8 says:

“Knowing that whatsoever good thing any man doeth, the same shall he receive of the Lord, whether he be bond or free.”

You shall receive your reward from the Lord. . .now that’s what I call the real Golden Rule. . .and it’s solid gold.