The Golden Rule
“He who has the gold, makes the rules.”
When I told Bob I was writing a post about the golden rule, he quoted the above, then asked if maybe I meant the other one. He was joking with me, of course, but it strikes me as indicative of our lives that most people would refer to the above quote if asked, “What is the golden rule?” To me, this sadly speaks to the importance we, as a society, place upon wealth, influence, and the worldly system. I wonder if the man on the street today even knows there is another golden rule.
Jesus said in Matthew 7:12 and Luke 6:31 ( NIV ) Do to others as you would have them do to you.
There was a day, not that long ago, when kindness and consideration for others counted for something. There was a time when the qualities of selflessness and modesty were highly esteemed and sought after, speaking of strength of character and wisdom- even godliness.
Today, we push and strive to get ahead, considering any fall-out of harm or hurt to others-if we think of them at all-as the price that must be payed in the fight to the top. It is a war, a war with casualties, and we fight so we won't be one of them. Terms like “road rage” or even “sidewalk rage” are commonly understood and accepted as the way things are.
Common courtesy has no place in a war. It is a thing of the past.
Do to others as you would have them do to you.
Such a simple statement, yet, it says all that needs to be said about how we are to conduct our lives in regards to our relationships with others. Consideration of others in this way is opposite of the way the world acts. The world's way is full of anger, bitterness, and self-serving. God's way of others-serving is full of blessing and peace.
Ephesians 4:31-32 ( MSNT ) Let all bitterness and all passionate feeling, all anger and loud insulting language, be unknown among you—and also every kind of malice. On the contrary learn to be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving one another, just as God in Christ has also forgiven you.
James 3:13-18 ( MSNT ) Which of you is a wise and well-instructed man? Let him prove it by a right life with conduct guided by a wisely teachable spirit. But if in your hearts you have bitter feelings of envy and rivalry, do not speak boastfully and falsely, in defiance of the truth. That is not the wisdom which comes down from above: it belongs to earth, to the unspiritual nature, and to evil spirits. For where envy and rivalry are, there also are unrest and every vile deed.
The wisdom from above is first of all pure, then peaceful, courteous, not self-willed, full of compassion and kind actions, free from favoritism and from all insincerity. And peace, for those who strive for peace, is the seed of which the harvest is righteousness.
Join with me as I pray, Lord Jesus, help me to treat others today, the way I want them to treat me. Help me to put aside anger and unforgiveness and show kindness to the people in my life Give me the grace to overlook other's faults and be easy to forgive today.
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Lies and Other Things
by Kay Montgomery
John 8:44 ( NIV ) You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desire. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.
When I think of lying, I am reminded of the Jim Carey film, Liar, Liar, where Jim's character lies to his son so much, the boy wishes his dad could not tell a lie for one whole day. The results are corny and hilarious, but the point is made about how excessive lying destroys relationships and the importance of honesty with one another.
Check out Lara's scenarios and think about what you would do in these situations and think about whether it is wrong for these women to lie.
I like to think of myself as an honest person and, in general, I think I am, but Lara is right when she says we all lie sometimes. We lie for convenience and sometimes, to avoid hurting someone's feelings. Sometimes, we lie just because we want to, or to avoid telling something we'd rather not tell.
The question, then, is this wrong? And if it is wrong, how can we avoid lying and is it even possible in today's world? Everyone lies so everyone expects to be lied to. This makes it acceptable but does it make it right?
Jesus, contrasting himself with the devil in John chapter eight, calls the devil 'the father of lies.” and the Holy Spirit in John 15:26 (NIV) the Spirit of truth who goes out from the Father.
If the devil is associated with all lies and the Holy Spirit with all truth, on which side do I place myself when I indulge in even one white lie?
Am I over dramatizing the issue? Surely god doesn't expect us to hurt people's feelings? Surely God doesn't expect us to live without stretching the truth just a little. Surely God can forgive a few little falsehoods.
Yes, of course God can forgive and we can live productive Christian lives with a few white lies, or any other sin, thrown in if we ask forgiveness, but the point is, just how much of the world's ways, or the devil's ways, really, do we want in our lives?
In our desire to live a life more God centered and God filled, we must be willing to look at change in areas we'd rather leave alone, but, if we do that, the enemy's strongholds in our lives remain firmly in place. I don't like that thought one bit.
I'm going to spend some time thinking about how I can live without any falsehood in my life. It seems an impossible task and I will need divine help to do it but divine help is always available for the believer who turns to his Heavenly Father.
Revelation 21:8 ( NIV ) But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars—their place will be in the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.”