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HOW DO YOU WANT TO BE TREATED?



I must admit that sometimes I teach lessons to my children that I forget apply to us adults as well. As I sat and read The Berenstain Bears and The Golden Rule to my daughter at bedtime one night, my little girl asked me a question before I kissed her goodnight that would resonate in my thoughts long after I went to bed. In all her innocence she asked, “Mom is that a true story?” I gave her a big hug, turned out the lights, and before walking out I replied, “some of it is my baby girl.” I sat there hours later, regretting my simple response and realizing that maybe she had no idea if the “truth” was the moral of the story or possibly it was the talking bears instead.

“And as you wish that others would do to you, do so to them.” Luke 6:31

In all reality, sometimes as I read stories like this, I forget that it’s not just a children’s book but in fact, it could be beneficial for us adults to read as well. Those cartoon-like talking bears didn’t actually invent the Golden Rule. They simply tell us a story and paint a picture of what this looks like when played out in our lives. The Golden Rule was actually invented and spoken by Jesus Himself. The verse you read above is not about what we should not to do others but instead what we should do to others and how we should treat them by way of our words, responses and actions. We should treat and show love to others in the way that we want it shown to us. This is the Golden Rule, and this was how Jesus lives His life on this earth.


I can promise you that I am not always deserving of the love and kindness that is shown to me. But truthfully, none of us are because we are all sinners. At some point in all of our lives, we have acted and spoken in a manner that we are not proud of. But Jesus uses this verse or sermon to teach His people to reflect on how they want others to treat them, and then do the same to them. Yet time after time I do the opposite. Ashamedly there have been so many times that I have treated or responded to others, not in love and the way that I want to be treated but instead, I respond with how I think they deserve to be treated.


Have you ever found yourself in this place? The place where you forget that Jesus is the “lesson teacher” and you veer off course by deciding that the role belongs to you instead? Someone has hurt you, so you seek retribution. But what if at that moment you do to that person as you would want them to do to you? How would that change the outcome of that hurtful situation? Jesus doesn’t need us to teach our lessons our ways, He wants us to use and apply His teachings and become His image bearer and example. We will never accomplish that and His purpose for our lives by compromising the word of God and making our own rules to live by.


Have you ever found joy in retaliation? Maybe a slight bit of temporary happiness –but joy –my guess would most certainly be no. Finding joy in relationships and encounters with others, only happens when we pursue those around us with the love of Jesus teaches. The vicious cycle of mistakes and paybacks can only stop when we do to others what we want to be done to us. This break in the cycle takes our minds off of our own means of solving a problem and points them to Christ for Him to solve instead.


My challenge for you this week is to take some time to think through how you want to be treated by others in any and all situations. And as you move forward in your day, respond to others in the same way. These are the moments that God can work through your obedience and actions to not only bring Joy to your life, but also to the lives around you.



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