Therefore, whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.
Matthew 7:12 (NKJV)
This is commonly known as the Golden Rule. Many religions teach a negative version of this statement. Confucius said, “What you do not want done to yourself, do not do to others.” The well-known Rabbi Hillel, when challenged to teach the entire Law while standing on one foot, said, “Whatever angers you when you suffer it at the hands of others, do not do it to others, this is the whole law.” By stating this positively, Jesus made the statement even more significant.
It may be easy to refrain from harming others, but it is much more difficult to take the initiative in doing something good for them. A person may be able to keep the negative form of the law by avoiding sin, but to keep the positive form requires action. This is the key to the radical discipleship that Jesus wants. The Golden Rule is the foundation of active goodness and mercy—the kind of love God shows to us every day. The word “so” links Jesus’ words “do to others what you would have them do to you” with the teachings presented thus far in the Sermon on the Mount (beginning at 5:1). Not only does this rule describe briefly the behavior expected of Jesus’ followers, it also sums up the Law and the Prophets, as Rabbi Hillel said. When we follow the Golden Rule, we keep the rest of God’s commands.
Have you ever been challenged to do good for someone knowing that he/she could care less about you or what you were trying to do for them? To a great degree isn’t that what Jesus did for you and me. God loved us long before we even gave Him a second thought. We were sinners and deserved justice but He gave us mercy. We were rebels but He still loved us. If we would be like Jesus, should we not do the same? Just asking. The Word of God says, “Let the love of Christ rule in your heart.” Let His love control your thoughts and actions. Then, you will be able to follow the “Golden Rule.” Can I get an amen?