February 7, 2014

The Golden Rule & Our Ability to Love

"Treat others how you would want to be treated"- What a perfect mantra to live by! 

There is a reason why that particular rule is considered golden.  It's so deeply rooted in love. We all have gifts, talents and abilities. By God's grace, we all have the ability to love. 

No matter how sadistic a person may seem, at the core, we ALL want to be loved. We don't want to be merely tolerated. We want love, appreciation and kindness shown to us. It's interesting because we may WANT love but we don't necessarily go out of our way to give love. The Bible notes in Acts 20:35 that it is more blessed to give than to receive but does that truly transfer over when it comes to loving the people in your life? 

It can be easy to love people on the good days or when they've done something great for you. The challenge comes in when a person is inconsiderate, rude or downright hateful.Will you still love?  When we've experienced an offense/been offended,  human nature usually kicks in and says that we can bypass loving the offender. Additionally, we get a golden pass to return evil for evil.

There are people who I know take pleasure in knowing that I've faced some not-so-great days. There is something about misery loving company.  There are people (not just one) that are walking around that I don't particularly care for. There are people that I would be totally okay if I never ever saw them again.  It's not that I wish them harm but because of the brokenness/disfunction in the relationship, I'd be good to "God bless you" and bid them adieu. There are people who I know are mean and take pride in being mean.  Why should I love them? If they dish it out, they should be able to take it, right?

I'm reading Steps to Christ by Ellen G. White with my church. One of my pastors creates these incredible study guides to go along with the chapters we're reading. I'm really enjoying it. One of the things I was reminded of in the Chapter 1 was that when Jesus was here on Earth, every word He spoke, even if it was a rebuke, OOZED (and continues to ooze) love. There were two thought-provoking testaments to the love Christ showed that I highlighted in my book. 

Thought #1: 
"Love, mercy, and compassion were revealed in every act of His life; His heart went out in tender sympathy to the children of men. He took man's nature, that He might reach man's wants. The poorest and humblest were not afraid to approach Him. Even little children were attracted to Him. They loved to climb upon His knees and gaze into the pensive face, benignant with love. - (SC 11.2)

It just seems natural to be afraid to approach someone who everyone sees as important. I'd be nervous to approach President Obama or any other former president for that matter. There are many famous and a few not-so-famous people that I'd be afraid to approach. I'm sure I'm not the only one who would be a little tense about running into Suge Knight in the grocery store. Mind you, it's not necessarily the air that the person projects. Sometimes, it's our own mental stronghold that keeps us from approaching others. At the same time, random kids aren't running and jumping in my lap! Lol! The only way to be that approachable is to learn to not only give love like Christ did but make a commitment to become like God because essentially, God is love. 

Thought #2: 

Jesus did not suppress one word of truth, but He uttered it always in love. He exercised the greatest tact and thoughtful, kind attention in His intercourse with the people. He was never rude, never needlessly spoke a severe word, never gave a needless pain to a sensitive soul. He did not censure human weakness. He spoke the truth, but always in love. 

 We are supposed to follow that example. When I get annoyed with something, I'll often feel like I have the right to be rude. Christ was NEVER rude. In my experience, it seems like in order to get things done with certain people, you HAVE to be rude or they'll trample all over you and I don't want to be anyone's doormat. However, if I want to be like Christ, Christ was NEVER rude and I have to remember that.

Never rude?!?!?!?!?!

Nope! He was NEVER rude! He never spoke a severe word. A severe word could be something as "harmless" as cracking a joke at someone's expense behind their back. If it's something you couldn't say to their face because you know it's hurtful, don't say it.

People who are mean, rude, hateful, spiteful need the most love. Our definition of love is found in 1st Corinthians 13: 4-7. I think it's always good to CRITICALLY go through these verses and accurately apply them to each person in your life especially the people who make you cringe. I'm not saying you'll be best friends with everyone. As a matter of fact, you won't. Look at Christ. He was hated by many yet He still loved and He still forgave. It all goes back to treating others how you would want them to treat you. After all, the golden rule, in it's finest hour, reveals love.

Continue to pursue Christ and let Him show you how to love.

God bless you!


  1. I'm literally struggling to read this Danielle because when I say that just tonight someone said something to me that I feel deserved for me to go completely off on them...AH!!! However, I appreciate the encouragement not to let what I want to do and how I feel I'm entitled to respond get the best of me!

    1. Glad I could be of encouragement to you, homie! And trust me when I say that I know the struggle too well but it's a discipline in loving and serving the way Christ would have us too.