Do you remember the Golden Rule? “Do to others as you would have them do to you” may be lost and forgotten by some, or viewed as a quaint old saying by others. Some days, in this world of fear, mistrust, and weapons galore, one might guess our society has twisted it into, “Do something to others before they can do something to you!” But the words of Jesus, quoted in Luke 6:31, are clear and direct. As Christians, we are expected to treat other people in the same way we would like them to treat us (not how they do treat us). If we could all get this right, can you imagine how much better our world would be?
Notice that Christ does not allow any room for exceptions in this statement, nor in any of the surrounding verses of Scripture. That kind of irritates us, because we love to carve out certain individuals or groups that we don’t like very much and ignore Jesus’ rules when it comes to them. But Jesus attacked this mindset head on, in his words and his actions. Tax collectors were invited to follow him.1 A Samaritan woman who had been married five time and was living with a man to whom she wasn’t married was commissioned to become one of the first evangelists.2 “Unclean” lepers, who were cast out of society, were touched and healed by the Lord.3
I believe I can say with a high level of confidence, that no one wants to be known for the rest of their lives by the worst thing that they ever did. Everyone has junk in their pasts that they regret and wish that they could somehow erase from their personal histories. How would you feel if someone was bringing those things up and confronting you with them every morning? It would be pretty depressing, wouldn’t it? So if we don’t want someone reminding us daily of our past actions, why do we continue to do it to all the people who have committed some kind of sexual offense? Are they different – the exception? Jesus says not. True followers of Christ need to take a stand against dehumanizing labels and lists that continue to hold a person’s past over them for years. Let’s resurrect the Golden Rule!
1 Matthew 9:9-10, Mark 2:14-15, Luke 5:27-29
2 John 4:4-42
3 Matthew 8:1-3, Luke 17:11-19