The Golden Rule

“So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets. Matthew 7:12

This phrase, “The Golden Rule,” doesn’t appear in the Bible, but it’s the popular name given to today’s verse because Jesus said that it “sums up the Law and the Prophets.”

Think of that!  This simple command sums up the entire law of God and all of the prophetic writings inspired by the Spirit of God. When Jesus was asked by a teacher of the law, “Which is the greatest commandment?” it was included in his answer: Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment.  And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” (Matthew 22:37-40)

The Apostle Paul echoed this sentiment in his letter to the Galatians, where he wrote: “For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”” (Galatians 5:14). And in his letter to the Romans, he wrote: “Love does no one any harm, therefore love is the fulfillment of the Law.” (Romans 13:10)

Notice that the command is not to treat others the way we’ve been treated, but to treat others the way we’d want to be treated. That’s love! Don’t treat anyone in a way that you wouldn’t want to be treated. It’s not always easy to live up to the challenge of this command, but as we commit ourselves to doing it, with God’s help, we’ll make a wonderfully positive difference in the world.

What can you do today to more fully “love your neighbor as yourself?”

Having begun as a guest speaker in 2005, Dan was appointed Interim Pastor in 2008 and has been serving Maple Root Baptist ever since. As a small group leader and Chaplin for the Connecticut Tigers, Dan has a heart for the lost and the God that saves them.

Dan Kinnaman

Pastor, Maple Root Baptist Church