Recently I’ve been finding myself hiding behind my thoughts. I would say to myself that it’s a good thing other people don’t know what I’m thinking, because if they did, they probably wouldn’t like what they saw. So I felt comfortable in my thoughts. And if something happened to me that I didn’t necessarily like, I would think…”I wonder how long people could stand themselves if I treated them or talked to them the same way they treat and talk to me.”
I was quite sure that they wouldn’t last two minutes. But whether they have more patience, or I just have a short temper,…the only thing was, the Golden Rule kept resonating in my mind. “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” And it was getting VERY hard to not just give out a dose of someone else’s own medicine. But all along, every time I wanted to say something curt or roll my eyes back into my head or be sarcastic, I would think about this.
Luke 6:31 says clearly, “And just as you want men to do to you, you also do to them likewise.”
Although sometimes it’s hard to ignore snide comments, sarcasm and rude remarks, I had to remember that Christ didn’t forgive me of my sins and shortcomings just so I could turn around and fill someone else’s day with negativity and rudeness.
Having been forgiven by a gracious and merciful God, I owe it to all those who don’t know Him and all those who have wronged me or upset me to return the same forgiveness and patience and love that I receive from my Heavenly Father. And no, it’s not always easy to keep silent. In fact, one of the hardest things is to remain silent. Turning the other cheek is not at times the most easiest task, but Christ says in Matthew 6:14, “For if you forgive men their trespasses, your Heavenly Father will also forgive you.” Forgiveness is also equal to how we love one another. Luke 7:47, when speaking of a sinful woman, Jesus said, “To whom little is forgiven, the same loves little.”
However, the little Golden Rule we learned long ago also means that we must love our neighbors as ourselves. Galatians 5:14-15 “For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ But if you bite and devour one another, beware lest you be consumed by one another!”
I have seen changes in others in the way they talk to me or treat me, but also in myself. Looking back now, I can see that in doing good unto others and loving my neighbors as myself, sometimes it softens their attitude towards me. Sometimes it remains unchanged. But by doing this, I become more patient and I learn to become even more slow to anger. It is best anyway to not speak too much (as warned against in Proverbs) because where there are a lot of words taking place, there’s bound to be sin. (Proverbs 10:19 “In the multitude of words sin is not lacking, but he who restrains his lips is wise.”) It might be awhile and the road to following the Golden Rule, loving my neighbor and learning how to keep control of my thoughts and words is certainly difficult, but there is nothing I cannot do because I know that “I can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13.
To the KING!!