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The Golden Rule
By Dan Vis
February 25, 2019
Comments: 36

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,; 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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Comments

How 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 Carole Bliss on 02/25/19
Most people are familiar with the Golden Rule. When I read the depth we need to go, in feeling the pain of another, feeling their loneliness and etc. I realize I can fall short many times. With God's heart, I will take the time to enter into the world of another person, more fully. Thank you
BLESSINGS. Carole
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 Dan Vis on 02/25/19

So many good statements in here, isn't there Pam. The first one you mentioned definitely leaped out at me after doing our course on Revival. Here's another that caught my eye this time around:

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 that's a great pair of verses Joyce. Definitely does fit in with the reading!

Posted by Pamela Kendall on 02/25/19

Powerful 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.

And 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.

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 Sherry Olson on 06/11/17

"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."

This should give us all pause, something to ponder upon and question ourselves about.

I pray for the Lord to give me encouraging words,for His hand to be a guard over my lips, and to tame my tongue; as I was raised in a very negative environment, and I now have the opportunity to be such an influence in the lives of my grandchildren (husband and children too)and right now a niece who is staying with me. Remembering that my actions speak louder than words, I realize I don't have to talk at them about God and Jesus our Savior (or lecture them as my grandsons told me, love their honesty!)But I have the privilege to let Christ's light shine through me.

I like your prayer Yvette.

And a belated Happy Anniversary Dan and Vi, my husband and I just had our 37th anniversary.

Posted by Dan Vis on 06/07/17
What a beautiful prayer Yvette! Glad this passage spoke to you...
Posted by yvette mcmurray on 06/07/17
This message was confirmation for me. Thank you! We serve a mighty God that loves us so much. His leading, and encouragement is phenomenal. All His biddings are enablings. In His hand is power and might; and in His hand it is to make great, and to give strength to all. LORD help me to be single minded to your​ will and way, make me to live out the Golden Rule in my life LORD. In Jesus name, thank you.
Posted by Lillian E. Cepeda on 06/07/17
Dan,
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     
suffering.
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 Marion Coppock on 06/06/17
When we moved to Canada, the Junior High Public School had the Golden Rule as their motto. We were so happy that the principal stood firm on this principal. How things have changed that was in 1984.
Happy Anniversary Dad & Vi. It has been a long time since 28 years for us, but it goes by so quickly. May God Bless you richly as you continue to serve Him.
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 Rashaun Vontae Walker on 06/05/17
Its like you can feel it, you know. Trying to imagine being there at the very moment of a whole crowd trying to touch one man. How much power, how much truth and belief? If I had a smidgen of their faith today. Amen
Thank you for sharing.
Posted by Zewdi Isaac Enbom on 06/05/17

This is an eye opener for me. Taking the time to step in their shoes would only be possible if Christ abides in our heart and leads us to be compassionate. May He guide our thoughts and ways always.

Congratulations to both of you on your 28th Wedding Anniversary. May God continue to preserve you and bless your work as you continue to spread the Word of God.
Zewdi

Posted by Pamela Kendall on 06/05/17

The following thoughts stood out to me:

"...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."
God rewards our good deeds to us by giving us more of his love. I think this is because when we demonstrate and participate in his unselfish love for others it enables and prepares us to enter into fellowship with him in a way that would not otherwise be possible because we wouldn't be able to relate to it. Acts of unselfish kindness give us a deeper understanding of God's unselfish love for us.

The following sentences also stood out to me
"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."

"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."

The golden rule is powerful. As someone said: people won't care what you know until they know that you care. Without unselfish other centered love we will not be effective at leading others Jesus and our doctrinal preaching won't have the same power without love.

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 Angie, Rhonda! Appreciate the congratulations! Hard to believe its been 28 years, but when I think back over all the experiences we've shared, and the people we've met, I wonder how could God have squeezed all that into such a short time...

Great comments everyone. I wasn't just about posting an excerpt like this, but it was so good I thought it wouldn't hurt to take a break one week. Now I'm thinking it might be worthwhile to do this every once in a while...

All the best Ann as you seek for wisdom to apply this rule in your specific situation.

Posted by Rhonda D Coleman on 06/05/17
I am truly blown away by this excerpt. I was in the process of sharing the "golden rule" with someone, so this is confirmation! As we do it unto the least of these...should be our motivation to do ministry. But not only to the least of these, to everyone we come in contact with.
By the way, congrats to you guys, I'm very happy for you.
Posted by Carole Bliss on 06/05/17

Dan, This message is so vital for us, to read often. So many are going thru so much today, as never before, and only in JESUS can we respond to them, as He would have us respond. Taking the time to step in their shoes, gets us away from us, which we need so badly to do. I know for myself, I must read this more often and be refreshed. Its about the life Jesus lived,and we are to live also.
Thank-you for this message today.

Carole

Posted by Angie Leimena on 06/05/17

Congratulation for the 28th Anniversary Dan & Vi. As leaders the application of the teaching is manifested.

The lesson that touched me is " But Christ teaches that our anxiety should not be, How much are we to receive? but, How much can we give? "

At the same time the reality of life among believers often is manifested like the above statement " 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",
It seems it is the normal life among believers, and it does not matter.

Thank GOD it does matter.

Posted by Deanna Dekle on 06/05/17
This is a real challenge to us as we allow Christ to work in us!
Posted by Ann Lavenburg on 06/05/17
This quote is affirming a current situation my husband and I are experiencing. A contractor is almost done with roofing our house but has disappeared and left a dumpster full of garbage and a few other things undone. We are praying for Eric. It is very weird situation but we feel impressed not to condemn him but that he is in desperate need of help. He needs to be responsible but we need to keep praying that God will work things out.
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.   
Posted by Polyene Mburu on 06/05/17

Mercy.

Posted by Fiona van Wyk on 06/05/17

I loved the excerpt, Dan. :-)

I have believed, and do even more so now, that to be a sermon in shoes, is the best method to reach anyone. :-)

Bruce - Those are good comments. Practical religion is indeed immense. It is apostolic power!

And the richest blessings for you and Vi, Dan, for your amazing 28 years together. Praise God! You are a wonderful example to us all. :-)

Posted by Bruce Thompson on 06/04/17

"Works of mercy" but only for those who "need" our sympathy and aid (implying there are some who don't), are the

  • most powerful truth in the universe
  • truth as it is in Jesus
  • apostolic power behind the gospel!

So just giving a person a tract, by itself, if I don't "put myself in their place. Enter into their feelings, their difficulties, their disappointments, their joys, and their sorrows. Identify yourself with them,..." is spurious religion.
That is immense.

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