Matthew 7:12 (KJV) 12 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.
Many of us are aware that there are Ten Commandments. I’ve read that there are actually 613 commands in the Old Testament. That sounds quite right although I haven’t really counted them myself. The Lord summarized them into two: loving God and loving our neighbor (Matthew 22:37-39). How? The Lord summarized all possible love actions into this one rule. What an awesome guideline. No wonder it’s called “The Golden Rule.”
God delights in blessing His children. And He does, whether we deserve it or not. God is just naturally gracious. But He also delights in blessing us when we’re obedient. So, He gave His people all necessary instructions – detailed instructions. But, some well meaning people who wanted to make sure that every dot and tittle are obeyed added so many peripheral commands. What they intended for good turned out to be really bad; it weighted people down and caused alot of hypocritical, external obedience to the letter of the Law and missed the true spirit of the Law.
Jesus brought us back to the true essence of all His commands – minus men’s additional commentaries: love. And just in case people see love as a description of an emotional response and not action, He left us with a precise description of what we ought to do to live out love: the Golden Rule. Of course, we can be passive and avoid deliberately hurting others. That’s why we’ve heard of a seemingly similar saying: “Don’t do unto others what you don’t want others to do to you.” The drawback on this is to feed on people’s self-centered attitude in life and feel satisfaction in the fact that they’re not doing anything evil to others. True. Except that it also leads to not doing anything good to others.
Dear God of love and blessings, thank You for giving us clear direction as to how we can live the most wonderful life we can live – a life of love, obedience, and blessing. Please help us to do to others the good and beautiful things we desire for ourselves. We know that there are those who won’t necessarily reciprocate our godly actions, but it doesn’t matter; our blessings flow from You. I admit, there are times when we are very comfortable living in our own small personal world without thinking of others. We become just preoccupied with our own personal interests and affairs. Many of our present technological applications tend to increasingly promote self-centeredness and self-aggrandizement. We feed on our already bloated egos and feel really satisfied and happy with it. Everyone’s doing it so, well, I guess we’re “trending.” How sad.
We’ve become so comfortable with attitudes and habits that are diametrically opposed to Your admonitions. We’re not hurting others; it’s fun; people are happy – that’s why we get tricked and don’t see the dangers of slowly having our minds programmed to be focused on ourselves. Not only have we gotten comfortable of not being natural and deliberate in pursuing what’s good for You and for others, sadder still: we have become blind to You and the good people who are doing alot of good and wonderful things for us. We just enjoy receiving from them, and have grown calloused to the the Spirit’s promptings for us to reciprocate their display of love, care, and concern. We’ve become heartless and we don’t even know it. Of course, we easily find satisfaction and justification in the fact that we love people. Yes, selected people we are drawn to. But really?
Father, please forgive us. Awaken us to truly desire and deliberately be Your holy nation – a people belonging to You, separate from the world – it’s system and it’s “whitewashed” practices.