“And as you wish that others would do to you, do so to them.” (Luke 6:31)
Most of us can recite the Golden Rule. As a former school teacher and mom, I have found myself reminding others of this rule many times. However, recently the Spirit has been reminding me of the Golden Rule.
If I’m honest, it is not always easy for me to “do unto others.” Sometimes I doubt that if I give to others that it will be given back to me. I’ll just give and give and receive nothing in return leaving me hurt and empty. My past hurts and broken relationships influence the way I treat others. Shamefully, I find myself thinking that others don’t deserve my kindness because of the way they treat me. This is the world’s perspective. My perspective changes when I replace this world’s perspective with God’s truth.
Jesus gave us the commandment to love one another, just as He loves us (John 13:34). “By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another” (John 13:35). He tells us, “give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you” (Luke 6:38).
In Luke 6:38 Jesus tells us it will be given. We may doubt that what we give to others will be returned to us, but God promises that it will be and that He will bless it and increase it. Our God is always ready to bless us with more. We just have to be obedient to His commandments.
“But he said, ‘Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and keep it!’” (Luke 11:28)
That obedience may be hard when others hurt us. The enemy wants to keep us in those hurtful places. He will tempt us to speak harsh words, avoid others, or gossip. This creates conflict. It is during those hurtful times that we need to remind ourselves of God’s great love for us. We need to remind ourselves of what God did for us through His Son, Jesus. For from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace (John 1:16). We need to remember that God is our healer, Jehovah-Rapha. We can trust in Him to heal our past, present, and future hurts.
“He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.” (Psalm 147:3)
In his book, The Peacemaker, Ken Sande says, “The best way to glorify God in the midst of conflict is to depend on and draw attention to his grace, that is, undeserved love, mercy, forgiveness, strength, and wisdom he gives us through Jesus Christ” (Sande, 31). Ken introduces this idea of the Golden Result, a corollary to the Golden Rule. “The Golden Result says that people will usually treat us as we treat them” (Sande, 78).
When we choose to give grace and be kind to someone who has hurt us, we bring glory to God. And chances are great that they will show kindness and give grace in return. Our actions say I am a follower of Jesus. “Obeying God’s commands without compromise honors him by showing that his ways are absolutely good, wise, and dependable. Our obedience also demonstrates that he is worthy of our deepest love and devotion” (Sande, 32).
“If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.” (Romans 12:18)
Conflict will happen because we cannot control others, but we can control our reactions. God is good. We can trust when we obey His command to love one another, even when it’s hard, that we are glorifying Him and making Him known. We can trust that it will be given, blessings in return.
You are good. You give us grace upon grace through Your Son Jesus, thank You. He is our perfect example of what loving others looks like. I want to bring You glory by loving others as much as possible. I know that this wouldn’t always be easy and I’m going to mess up, but I know You will be there. Your Word that tells me, “The steps of a man are established by the Lord, when he delights in his way; though he fall, he shall not be cast headlong, for the Lord upholds his hand” (Psalm 37:23-24). Thank you for being Jehovah-Rapha, our healer. I pray for those that are reading this that may have been hurt, or are hurting now, that you would bind up their wounds and that they would know how much You love them. With Your help and healing, we can make You known by loving one another.
It may not always be easy to love those that hurt us. I would recommend Ken Sande’s book, The Peacemaker if you are experiencing conflict with others. He provides biblical-based solutions to resolving personal conflict. Also, another great resource, Boundaries by Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend, can help you learn to set healthy boundaries while still being obedient to the command to love one another.