Lord, have mercy on us all.
We all want to be seen, right? Seen and recognized for our good work, achievements, gifts, and talents. We want people to look beyond our faults and recognize our needs, even when or if we do not see them ourselves. We want to be forgiven, graced, and given a second chance when we speak or act out of turn—although these days it seems that we are less likely to even notice that we have done anything wrong.
“Do unto others”—not as they do unto you, but “as you would have them do unto you,” is the Golden Rule. There is a big difference between treating people the way they treat us versus the way we want them to treat us. If we want kindness, it would be good if we extended kindness. If we want to be recognized, forgiven, graced, encouraged, and supported, how wonderful it would be to make such things our life’s goals and ambitions, and not just toward those who return the same. It’s not rocket science but also not the easiest of endeavors.
Here is a simple rule of thumb for behavior: Ask yourself what you want people to do for you; then grab the initiative and do it for them! If you only love the lovable, do you expect a pat on the back? Run-of-the-mill sinners do that. If you only help those who help you, do you expect a medal? Garden-variety sinners do that. If you only give for what you hope to get out of it, do you think that’s charity? The stingiest of pawnbrokers does that. I tell you, love your enemies. Help and give without expecting a return. You’ll never – I promise – regret it…Don’t pick on people, jump on their failures, criticize their faults – unless, of course, you want the same treatment. Don’t condemn those who are down; that hardness can boomerang. Be easy on people; you’ll find life a lot easier.” [ref]Luke 6:31-38 (The Message Bible)[/ref]
Grace and peace,