Thinking Before Saying and Doing

Treat others as you want them to treat you.
                                   —Matthew 7:12

Today’s text is among the best-known statements of Jesus—and among the least-practiced.

It has been called the “Everest of Ethics.” J.B. Phillips said it is “the essence of all true religion.” Eugene Peterson labeled it “a simple, rule-of-thumb guide for behavior.”

Its emphasis is positive, not negative: Jesus didn’t say, “Don’t do this,” he said, “Do this.”

It is simple and straightforward, eliminating the need for a long list of rules—it just requires thinking before saying and doing.

If you want to be respected, respect.
If you want to be loved, love.
If you want to be encouraged, encourage.
If you want to be judged fairly, judge fairly.
If you want to be treated kindly, treat kindly.

Do those things, and everyone will be glad to see you coming.

You’re treating others as you want to be
treated—or as you don’t want to be treated.

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