February 16th, 2008

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The Golden Rule Matt. 7:12

Saturday, February 16th, 2008

This command of Jesus can and should be supportive of the earlier commands of seeking first the Kingdom of God, the command to not judge others critically, and to depend upon God, wholly. Consider for a while how they support one another, like the four legs of a stool. Together the four support a life of cooperation, connectedness and peace.

In college I was troubled by an agnostic professor who declared that to provide for another what you might want for yourself might be totally inappropriate. This was his critical analysis of the Golden Rule. But as I have thought about this over the years, I have come to realize that he missed the point. Jesus is not talking about stuff provided for another, but rather a sensitive to another. Martin Buber dealt with this many years ago when he contrast “I-IT” with “I-THOU” relationships.

The point Jesus is making is that just as we do not want to be treated as a thing, we must not treat others as an object that we can manipulate. As I think about the Golden Rule, it appears to me that the expression of it would do much to provide for a peaceful community. We need to try it.