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By LISA SCARBOROUGH
In our society today, the rule seems to be, "do to others then try and explain it away," or "do to others to cause the most pain," or maybe "do to others to make yourself feel better." So many people are doing hurtful and painful things to others every day with no rhyme or reason.
Maybe they are in so much pain themselves that it just overflows to others whoever they may be, family, friends, co-workers and strangers.
Jesus shares this bit of wisdom in Matthew 7:12, "So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the law and the prophets."
Asking us to look at ourselves and then treat others with the same love, respect and courtesy that we ourselves would like to receive. The question then becomes, "how do we see ourselves and how do we want to be treated?"
Jesus sees us in a completely different way than we tend to see ourselves. His desire is that we would choose to accept and follow him and thereby he would "transform and renew our minds" Romans 12:2a. Through this process we can view ourselves as he does: Full of love, forgiven, filled with his spirit.
Then when we begin to consider how we want to be treated by others we see someone who wants to be loved, respected and appreciated. Out of this renewing of our minds will be fruit that pours itself out to others that we encounter each day. There are so many adages out there such as:
• If you see someone without a smile give them yours.
• When someone does something nice for you pay it forward.
• Do a random act of kindness every day.
• Help your neighbors.
Every one of these sayings are great! But how many of us even think of these things as we grab our coffee, bag, phone and keys on the way to work or school or taking the kids to school?
Jesus wants us to be purposeful! So that doing good things for others becomes a habit we build into our everyday lives. Not something we happen on once in a while but plan out and carry through on a regular basis.
Jesus’ golden rule should be part of our character, part of our lifestyle that glorifies his spirit to those around us. For many of us it is necessary to renew our minds over and over again so that we can see ourselves as Jesus does, that is the first step of truly living by his golden rule.
So if you find yourself sharing words and actions that are not lifting up those around you whether in person or online or by text then find space in our schedule to spend quality time with Jesus and let him renew and transform your mind and re-fill your spirit with living water. Then you will be ready to "do unto others as you would have then do unto you."
Lisa Scarborough is director of Love In Action.
Perspectives is a regular column sponsored and written by members of the Ketchikan Ministerial Association.