Ministerial Meanderings

God centered theology in a man centered world.

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Location: Springfield, Missouri, United States

I was born in Washington D.C. and raised in Laurel, Maryland. I served in the United States Air Force for 20 years then retired. Then God led me to become a pastor. I was converted to Christ in the summer of 1966. I enjoy the company of my wife, children and grandchildren. I live with my three cats Taz.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Do Unto Others .... Really?

Almost every Christian I know can quote the Golden Rule. "So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also for them ..." (Matt. 7:12, ESV). I always thought I knew the golden rule, but in some recent reading I was challenged in my thinking to think a little more outside the box. Let me explain ...

The standard, normal way this passage is interpreted is to say that you should do to other people the same thing you want them to do to you. That is good and it is right, and if that is all the further one goes with it, they will do well.

But Matthew Henry challenges us to take the passage a step further. He suggests that to properly fulfill this passage the Christian ought to put him or herself into the position and shoes (so to speak) of the other person. Then, when we can see ourselves in their place, to treat as we would want to be treated if we were them. So, to give an example, if I meet a single, divorced mother, then I ought to see myself as a single, divorced mother and do to her what I would want people to do to me if I were a single, divorced mother. The list of possibilities are as endless and the number of people you meet.

But this is a hard teaching. If we were to apply it consistently, it would mean that things would not be about me anymore. It would be about other people. But if we are going to be serious about living out the scriptures in love (1 Cor. 13), then we are going to find ourselves called to live out the hard teachings. But I ask you ... being the presence of Christ in the world, can we do any less?


Blogger Diane said...

"If we were to apply it consistently, it would mean that things would not be about me anymore."

Good post John. As a good friend of mine from PT tells me......."it's not about you, it's about HIM." The Lord frequently brings those words to my mind.

5:51 AM  

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