“Do to others whatever you would like them to do to you. This is the essence of all that is taught in the law and the prophets.” Matthew 7:12
This verse is a challenging one for all of us. Sure it’s easy to those who are nice to you, but it’s not so easy to be kind to those who are rude to you. It is a huge opportunity for those of us who are Christians or people of faith to show people what it really means to have spiritual beliefs, and not perpetuate the sad truths that have made their way through society in the past that have gotten so many people labeled as hypocrites. The unfortunate thing in all this is we haven’t treated people as well as we could have. We’ve judged them before we’ve known everything, and we’ve been less-than-shining examples of Jesus.
If we all treated others with respect and dignity simply because they were human beings like ourselves, can you imagine how much would change? I’ve been seeing this change in business over the past few years. It’s slow but it’s definitely developing a stronger presence. I’ve seen fewer scam businesses be successful, more action taken against them and more bad leaders sent packing. I’ve also seen the awareness growing that we can’t be isolated but need physical contact and connection with other people.
No, people aren’t perfect. I’m not, and I’ll guess that you probably have a fault or two. That’s OK, I don’t mind that we’re not perfect. I appreciate being able to extend forgiveness and grace, and receiving it as well. I also appreciate being able to learn from our mistakes, wouldn’t life be boring if we got it right the first time?
One final thing to consider: this verse in Matthew doesn’t assume or state that others will immediately respond in kind. In our world kindness needs to be learned. We don’t all accept that others are kind, we’re often suspicious of the kindness that others extend to us. This week do your best to treat others with respect in ways that you want to be treated. Over time you’ll see people’s attitudes and actions towards you changing for the better.