The Golden Rule

David Bast

READ : Matthew 7:12

The famous writer Thomas Carlyle had very little respect for the Christianity of his native Scotland. Once, when he was speaking with his mother, he expressed scorn for all the preaching that went on week after week. “It’s all such a waste of time!” Carlyle exclaimed. “Why, if I were a preacher, I would simply say to the people, ‘You know what you should do; now go and do it!’” “Aye, Thomas,” his mother responded, “but would you tell them how?”

We all know what we ought to do. The Golden (“golden” because it is so valuable) Rule says it all: “Do to others as you would have them do to you.” Even cultures far removed from the Bible know the golden rule. For example, the Chinese philosopher Confucius offered this admonition: “Do not do to others what you would not wish done to yourself.”

Many teachers can tell us what we ought to do. But only Jesus can also tell us how because Jesus isn’t just a teacher; he’s a Savior. Jesus gives us the power to overcome our self-centeredness so that we can love God with all our being, and love our neighbor as we love ourselves. And that is the way to eternal life.


Lord Jesus, I thank you that you are so much more than just a teacher. Give me the strength to do what is right, and to live for you today. In your name. Amen.