Across the Pastor’s Desk: Following the Golden Rule; be kind
Published 8:00 pm Friday, August 6, 2021
Across the Pastor’s Desk by George Marin
I am certain that most of us have heard of the Golden Rule. This is found in Matthew 7:12, where Jesus said, “So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the law and the prophets.” At times, however, it seems the Golden Rule is interpreted, “He who has the gold makes the rules.” This is not at all what Jesus meant.
Sometimes, we can do the opposite of what God expects of us. When that happens, things just do not go as they should. Respecting others should be something that we all practice naturally. However, respecting others can become more difficult when we are at disagreement with them.
Jesus once said, “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.” Matt. 24:35. This is a clear indication that what Jesus said about treating others as we wish to be treated is still applicable today. I think it is in all of us to want our own way and to want others to simply fall in line with our desires. But life does not work best that way. Life is about give and take. Life requires concessions, compromises and humility.
In theory, the Golden Rule seems simple; however, in practice, it can be a different story. So, how can we apply this practically in our daily lives? Here are five tips from Leo Babauta: 1) Be empathetic. Simply put, place yourself in the shoes of another. Try to see things from their perspective and feel what they are experiencing. 2) Be compassionate. Express concern for what others might be suffering. Sometimes we may not be able to do anything about their suffering, but practicing compassion can bring great comfort. 3) Listen well. This is listening without interrupting, and listening to gain understanding of the other person. This is very important in matters of great disagreement. It is amazing what we can learn from and about each other when we take time to listen. 4) Practice acceptance. We all have biases. Things like skin color, differences in language, cultures, religions or politics can create prejudicial divides. When things seem different from us, they may seem uncomfortable. These can all be overcome when we are intentional about seeing people simply as fellow human beings worthy of respect. 5) Be kind. I love what I read recently, “In a world where you can be anything, be kind.” Never underestimate the power of kindness. It can literally be a game-changer for some people. Our community, our nation and our world have been through a lot in the past few months. I am convinced that we need each other now more than ever before. I love you. I’m in your corner.
George Marin is a pastor at Grace Christian Church.