“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)
When we don’t treat others well, we are in rebellion against God. Loving others is at the core of Jesus teachings. Matthew 7:12 has become know as the golden rule. It is taught everywhere, not just within the church. Jesus statement is the rule live our lives by, but yet it is what we fail at most often. In so many ways we fail to treat others the way we would like to be treated. We have a tendency to complain more about how others treat us, rather than asking ourselves how we are treating others.
Look at what Jesus says later on in Matthew’s Gospel account; “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.” Matthew 22:37-40 (ESV) Jesus says that to love God and to love others are commandements, not suggestions. All the law and the prophets teachings depend on these two commandments. How central love is to the message of God.
If we truly love God as we should we can’t help but love others. After all every person that has lived, and ever will live is created in the image of God. How can we not love those that bear the image of our heavenly Father? How? Its because we don’t have the love for God and ourselves that we should. We believe the lies of the devil, and believe we are of no real value and look at others in the same way. We must first come to love God, love His ways, and see the value He has placed on every soul, including ours and respond in love knowing that we are His. When we come to know our worth in His sight and give that worth to ourselves we will then see the value of all the souls around us and want to treat them accordingly.
Mistreating others was one of the main reasons God sent Israel into exile in Babylon (read Isaiah). They lost their land and homes for seventy years, for mistreating one another. Mistreatment of others has, and will always be rebellion against God. So, when Jesus tells us how important it is to treat others as we would like to be treated we had better listen, and put it into practice. Otherwise we will find ourselves in rebellion and may lose our promised land. The big difference between us and Israel is that Israel lost their earthly home for seventy years, if we continue in rebellious behavior we stand to lose our eternal home.
© 2014 Leo J. Woodman