“The Golden Rule”

Published 10:00pm Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Bull sessions are an integral part of college life. They are not a course offering and there is no college credit given for them. They are informal student gatherings, usually spontaneous, and they can be held anywhere students congregate. They take place in dorm rooms, hallways, empty classrooms, a Commons, almost anywhere.
I remember being a part of one. A student who had deviated in some way from the accepted norm of behavior was being discussed. It was a scathing rebuke.
He was not present. An upperclassman chanced by and overheard what was being said. He chastised us.
I’ll never forget what he said. “There’s so much good in the worst of us, and so much bad in the best of us, that it hardly behooves any of us to talk about the rest of us.” He was annoying.
Somewhere I came across three principles that serve as guidelines in such matters. Principle One, is it true? Principle Two, is it kind? Principle Three, is it necessary? If some of us applied those principles to our conversations we wouldn’t have much to say, would we?
And our conversations might be considered a bit dull and uninteresting. Oh well, it’s something to think about.
In His Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7; Luke 6:17-49) Jesus laid down some principles for those of us who take Him as The Worthy Interpreter of Life to follow.
Among other things, He said, “Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them … “ (Mt. 7:12, KJV). Or to put it another way, “Treat other people exactly as you would like to be treated by them … “ (Mt. 7:12, The NT in Modern English). Or as we are most familiar with it, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” I think that principle applies here.
To apply “The Golden Rule” to both our conversation and our behavior is a challenge even for the best of us, don’t you think? But striving to live by it is really not an option if we are to live out the implications of what it means to take Jesus as The Worthy Interpreter of Life.

– Darryl Maxwell,
Retired Baptist Pastor

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