The Golden RuleBy Dan Vis
February 25, 2019
As our month comes to a close, and with it our focus on marriage, it seemed appropriate to repost this amazing excerpt instead from the book, "Thoughts from the Mount of Blessings". You'll find it both a blessing and challenge!
"Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them." Matthew 7:12Therefore 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..
On the assurance of the love of God toward us, Jesus enjoins love to one another, in one comprehensive principle covering all the relations of human fellowship.
The Jews had been concerned about what they should receive; the burden of their anxiety was to secure what they thought their due of power and respect and service. But Christ teaches that our anxiety should not be, How much are we to receive? but, How much can we give? The standard of our obligation to others is found in what we ourselves would regard as their obligation to us.
In your association with others, put yourself in their place. Enter into their feelings, their difficulties, their disappointments, their joys, and their sorrows. Identify yourself with them, and then do to them as, were you to exchange places with them, you would wish them to deal with you. This is the true rule of honesty. It is another expression of the law. "Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself." Matthew 22:39And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.. And it is the substance of the teaching of the prophets. It is a principle of heaven, and will be developed in all who are fitted for its holy companionship.
The golden rule is the principle of true courtesy, and its truest illustration is seen in the life and character of Jesus. Oh, what rays of softness and beauty shone forth in the daily life of our Saviour! What sweetness flowed from His very presence! The same spirit will be revealed in His children. Those with whom Christ dwells will be surrounded with a divine atmosphere. Their white robes of purity will be fragrant with perfume from the garden of the Lord. Their faces will reflect light from His, brightening the path for stumbling and weary feet.
No man who has the true ideal of what constitutes a perfect character will fail to manifest the sympathy and tenderness of Christ. The influence of grace is to soften the heart, to refine and purify the feelings, giving a heaven-born delicacy and sense of propriety.
But there is a yet deeper significance to the golden rule. Everyone who has been made a steward of the manifold grace of God is called upon to impart to souls in ignorance and darkness, even as, were he in their place, he would desire them to impart to him. The apostle Paul said, "I am debtor both to the Greeks, and to the barbarians; both to the wise, and to the unwise." Romans 1:14I am debtor both to the Greeks, and to the Barbarians; both to the wise, and to the unwise.. By all that you have known of the love of God, by all that you have received of the rich gifts of His grace above the most benighted and degraded soul upon the earth are you in debt to that soul to impart these gifts unto him.
So also with the gifts and blessings of this life: whatever you may possess above your fellows places you in debt, to that degree, to all who are less favored. Have we wealth, or even the comforts of life, then we are under the most solemn obligation to care for the suffering sick, the widow, and the fatherless exactly as we would desire them to care for us were our condition and theirs to be reversed.
“Whatever you may possess above your fellows places you in debt, to that degree, to all who are less favored.”
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The golden rule teaches, by implication, the same truth which is taught elsewhere in the Sermon on the Mount, that "with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again." That which we do to others, whether it be good or evil, will surely react upon ourselves, in blessing or in cursing. Whatever we give, we shall receive again. The earthly blessings which we impart to others may be, and often are, repaid in kind. What we give does, in time of need, often come back to us in fourfold measure in the coin of the realm. But, besides this, all gifts are repaid, even in this life, in the fuller inflowing of His love, which is the sum of all heaven's glory and its treasure. And evil imparted also returns again. Everyone who has been free to condemn or discourage, will in his own experience be brought over the ground where he has caused others to pass; he will feel what they have suffered because of his want of sympathy and tenderness.
“Everyone who has been free to condemn or discourage, will in his own experience be brought over the ground where he has caused others to pass.”
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It is the love of God toward us that has decreed this. He would lead us to abhor our own hardness of heart and to open our hearts to let Jesus abide in them. And thus, out of evil, good is brought, and what appeared a curse becomes a blessing.
The standard of the golden rule is the true standard of Christianity; anything short of it is a deception. A religion that leads men to place a low estimate upon human beings, whom Christ has esteemed of such value as to give Himself for them; a religion that would lead us to be careless of human needs, sufferings, or rights, is a spurious religion. In slighting the claims of the poor, the suffering, and the sinful, we are proving ourselves traitors to Christ. It is because men take upon themselves the name of Christ, while in life they deny His character, that Christianity has so little power in the world. The name of the Lord is blasphemed because of these things.
Of the apostolic church, in those bright days when the glory of the risen Christ shone upon them, it is written that no man said "that aught of the things which he possessed was his own." "Neither was there any among them that lacked." "And with great power gave the apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus: and great grace was upon them all." "And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart, praising God, and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved." Acts 4:32,34,33And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul: neither said any of them that ought of the things which he possessed was his own; but they had all things common. . . . Neither was there any among them that lacked: for as many as were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the prices of the things that were sold, . . . And with great power gave the apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus: and great grace was upon them all.; Acts 2:46,47And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart, . . . Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved..
Search heaven and earth, and there is no truth revealed more powerful than that which is made manifest in works of mercy to those who need our sympathy and aid. This is the truth as it is in Jesus. When those who profess the name of Christ shall practice the principles of the golden rule, the same power will attend the gospel as in apostolic times.
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CommentsHow do you react to this excerpt? Do you find it challenging? Overwhelming? Inspiring? What part stands out most to you? What application do you take away from this article?
|Posted by Dan Vis on 03/04/19|
|I think you are exactly right Rae! :)
Glad these are a blessing for you Valerie. :)
|Posted by Valerie Wise Burrell on 03/03/19|
|"The standard of the golden rule is the standard of Christianity; anything short of it is deception." C'est tout. That sums it up perfectly. I thank God for your Monday memos.|
|Posted by Rae Robinson on 02/26/19|
|Excellent! If everyone treated others with the golden rule, we'd have 99% less enemies and more people wanting to accept Jesus & His message of love and truth. Pray for this!|
|Posted by Dan Vis on 02/26/19|
|Nice thought Rhona! You may be exactly right. :)
This is a pretty deep reading isn't it, Carole? Not always easy to connect with others like this, but it is part of becoming more like Christ...
|Posted by Rhona Brown on 02/25/19|
|The statement “When those who profess the name of Christ shall practice the principles of the golden rule, the same power will attend the gospel as in apostolic times” made me think of of the text Ephesians 6:15And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;. Several years ago when I was trying understand the meaning of the shoes it came to my mind the best way prepare the way to share the gospel is to be like Christ loving and kind. And truly that is the golden rule.|
|Posted by Joyce Augustinis on 02/25/19|
|This verse I learned in Colossians this month fits right along with these thoughts. Colossians 3:14-1514 And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness. 15 And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful..|
|Posted by Dan Vis on 06/14/17|
|Thanks, Sherry. Congrats to you and your husband also. It is a blessing to focus on being an encouragement, isn't it?|
|Posted by Lillian E. Cepeda on 06/07/17|
The Good Samaritan is one of my favorite parables. Maybe because am a nurse, and could not imagine seen someone in need, and just go by ignoring human
|Posted by Dan Vis on 06/07/17|
|Thanks Marion and Ian. Appreciate the well wishes. Glad this article was encouraging!|
|Posted by Ian on 06/07/17|
|Congratulations Dan to you and your wife.
I agree that we should put ourselves in the place of others especially the por and needy and the persecuted
|Posted by Dan Vis on 06/06/17|
|Lillian, yes thanks for mentioning the Good Samaritan. :) Glad you were blessed by this post...|
|Posted by Lillian E. Cepeda on 06/05/17|
|Jesus' Mercy. The Golden Rule is Jesus' character. This excerpt touched my heart. It is so important to care for our neighbors, which reminds me of the Good Samaritan parable.|
|Posted by Dan Vis on 06/05/17|
|Great posts everyone! Thank you for sharing your thoughts on this amazing passage. I wonder how much of this Paul had in mind when he talked about being "constrained" by the Love of Christ (II Corinthians 5:14-1514 For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead: 15 And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again.).|
|Posted by Ransom Davis on 06/05/17|
|Here's the line that stood out to me: "Everyone who has been free to condemn or discourage, will in his own experience be brought over the ground where he has caused others to pass". Great article!|
|Posted by Raquel Reyna on 06/05/17|
|Thank you, Dan. I so need to study this. We all need to follow the golden rule more closely. May God give us the grace and love to be like Jesus. Congratulations on your anniversary. May your love last forever!|
|Posted by Dan Vis on 06/05/17|
|Thanks for highlighting those snippets Bruce. Powerful indeed.
Thanks Fiona and Joy! Appreciate so much the congrats. So blessed to have the amazing wife I do. FAST would not be possible without her, for sure. :)
|Posted by Joy Hank on 06/05/17|
|Wow, thank you,Dan. Timing is perfect. I was just telling my husband about this interpretation by EGW of the "Golden Rule" and how this is what practical religion means. The motivation for evangelism is contained within Matthew 7:12Therefore 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. (which of course is just a summary of the whole of the OT and what God was trying to teach His people). Lord, have mercy on us! We fall so far short. Give us grace to love and serve you better!
Congratulations to you and Vi on 28 years of marriage. May God continue to unite your hearts in love to Him and to each other. Much blessings.
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