Sunday, July 10, 2011

Personalizing the Golden Rule

Matthew 7:12 is one of the most quoted verses in the Bible--

"Whatever you wish that others would do for you, do also to them."
And yet, this morning, it occurred to me that I've never really personalized this verse. Now, I know there is a general "be kind" message here, and I've tried to live that out in my life.

But this morning, when I read this passage, I decided to list out the "whatevers" that I wish other people would do for me. I'd encourage you to take time to do the same. Instead of some kind of saccharine-sweet generic message to the masses, it made this verse more like a personal challenge for me.

Here's the list I came up with (of what I wish others would do for me):
  • love genuinely, with acceptance
  • help freely
  • listen & seek to understand
  • offer authentic friendship
  • teach the things I need to know in a way that exhibits those things you're teaching
  • welcome my thoughts
  • value my efforts
  • teach me how to do things, how to get better at practical things
  • love, don't judge, me!
  • pray for me and trust God to lead and guide me when I'm discouraged
  • comfort me with the comfort you have received from God
  • if there is a visible need, jump in and help
  • hang out with me and share authentically

It occurred to me as I was making this list how some of these are common to all of us, but some of these may be specific to my personality, and what I appreciate may differ from what others need/desire. Are there things on my list that you wouldn't have put on yours? I'll bet you might put things on your list that I haven't written out here.

Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments.

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