Monday, September 21, 2009

Perverting the Golden Rule

So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.
(Matthew 7:12 – ESV)

Many people espouse their version of the “Golden Rule”. However, the Golden Rule is NOT…

· Do unto others or they will do unto you (fear)

· Do unto others before they do unto you (malice)

· Do unto others because they have done unto you (retaliation)

· I won’t do unto others so that they won’t do unto me. (The silver rule often has been described as “the golden rule in a negative form.” It is the golden rule without the gold. “What you do not wish done to you, do not do to others.” This has found expression in the literature of many different cultures. Sayings like this forbid much, but they command nothing. Many people live by the principle of the silver rule: “It’s not my problem”; “it’s no skin off my nose”; “mind your own business”; and “take care of ‘number one’ ”. You might let yourself off the hook and think you are doing the golden rule by being loose with others, but it really is only so as to give yourself room to sin. The positive form is more telling than its negative counterpart, for it speaks against sins of omission as well as sins of commission. The goats in Matthew 25:31‑46 would be acquitted under the negative form. The negative confines us to the region of justice; the positive takes us into the region of generosity or grace. It isn’t “I want them to leave me alone” it is positive. It is not I’ll do unto others who can do back unto me (Luke 14:12-14) Mercy – helping someone that cannot pay you back it is not just don’t do, but do

· Do unto others as they would have you do (godlessness) – wrong it is not higher than Golden rule, a criminal wouldn’t want you to turn them in

· Do unto others so that they will do unto you (selfishness) (we should do it because we love, not for purchasing love or a desired reaction, thinking we deserve, driven by the desire to be satisfied, this one wears a subtle mask, radical flaw, we do things and expect them to do to us, or recognition, etc.)

· I won’t do unto others because they won’t do unto me (bitterness)

It is universal (whatever) / It requires action (do also to them) / It is grounded in divine revelation (this is the Law and the Prophets)

“Living For Today With An Eye For Tomorrow”©

1 comment:

Even So... said...

This is a brand new post, taken from our 2009 Sunday sermon, "The Road to the Golden Rule"...