“Give to everyone who asks you, and do not ask for your possessions back from the person who takes them away.
Treat others in the same way that you would want them to treat you.”
This is somewhat of a golden rule, isn’t it?
“Treat others in the same way that you would want them to treat you” is at the same time revolutionary and just plain common sense.
D.A. Carson wrote this:
“[This] was not invented by Jesus; it is found in many forms in highly diverse settings. About A.D. 20, Rabbi Hillel, challenged by a Gentile to summarize the law in the short time the Gentile could stand on one leg, reportedly responded,
‘What is hateful to you, do not do to anyone else. This is the whole law; all the rest is commentary. Go and learn it.’ (b. Shabbath 31a).
Apparently only Jesus phrased the rule positively.”
The idea of regulating our behaviour against other people’s (What is hateful to you, do not do to anyone else) is not new then, but to put an inherently positive slant to it (Treat others in the same way that you would want them to treat you) is exclusively Christian.
The difference is slight in wording but profound in consequence. It is, so I read, the difference between driving down the highway and not breaking traffic laws versus driving down the highway and stopping to help a broken down car. One focuses on self and what not to do, whilst the other focuses on others and what we ought to do. Charles Spurgeon said this about putting the golden rule into action, a fitting thought to take into today:
“Oh, that all men acted on it, and there would be no slavery, no war, no swearing, no striking, no lying, no robbing; but all would be justice and love!
What a kingdom is this which has such a law!”