Luke 6:31 NASB “Treat people the same way you want them to treat you.”
The Golden Rule, spoken by Jesus, is possibly one of the best-known quotes from the Bible and it is the standard Jesus set for dealing with other people. If we wish to be loved, we must give love. If we wish to be respected, we must respect all persons, even those we dislike. If we wish to be forgiven, we must also forgive. If we wish others to speak kindly of us, we must speak kindly of them and avoid gossip.
There is a distinct difference between presenting a Biblical case that invalidates the logic or reasoning that someone uses, and demeaning or throwing insults towards the individual that we are in disagreement with. And yet, for some reason, many Christians seem to think that not only is this behaviour not only acceptable but they applaud those who also do it.
We talk about how things are being turned upside down and yet, many of us fail to recognize that we are also complicit. How so you say? Let me give you some examples.
We seem to think that it is fair game to slander or bear false witness about others, which in essence means spreading unsubstantiated untruths (lies). And just so you know, no, just because it is on the Internet does NOT mean that it is true.
We seem to think that it is acceptable to hurl demeaning accusations about someone else’s character, which in essence means justifying the validation of the degradation of another person’s character.
We seem to think that because someone is our sworn enemy, that it is fine to treat them as such. We seem to think that because someone is evil, through to the core, that they do not deserve mercy or forgiveness.
We seem to think that it is acceptable to speak half truths, but detest those who do the same thing.
I could make a much longer list but I would assume you can see where this is going. In essence, there are many Christians who have one set of standards for others and another set for themselves.
If I hear one more person justify their personal unbiblical words and actions by stating that as Christians we are to stand up for truth and call out evil when we see it, I may end up chewing off my lower lip. Are we to validate truth and identify evil when we see it. ABSOLUTELY!!! We clarify what is untrue by stating what is true and we identify evil or sin by clarifying what it is and what action needs to be taken. But nowhere in the New Testament do we see CHRISTIANS attacking the individual PERSONALLY as being justified. Even the Apostle Paul left that to God.(2 Thessalonians 1:4-10, 2 Timothy 2:24-26, 2 Timonty 4:14 refers).
But you say, how about Jesus, did He not lash out at the Pharisees, scribes and Sadducees? Yes He did but there is a distinct difference between Jesus and you and I. Jesus was and is perfect, He continually followed the will of God the Father without any deviation whatsoever. He is the Master, we are the students. Jesus didn’t have to consider removing the log out of His own eye before speaking to others, we do. Did Jesus sin? No He did not. Do we still sin, yes we do.
Ephesians 4:29 “Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.”
Colossians 4:6 “Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.”
2 Timothy 2:16 “But avoid irreverent babble, for it will lead people into more and more ungodliness.”
Colossians 3:8 “But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth.”
Luke 6:45 “The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.”
James 3:5 “So also the tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great things. How great a forest is set ablaze by such a small fire!”
And of course, you know that this is but yet a very small sample.
If we, as Children of God, are to be light in the darkness, then we should be different from the darkness.
Luke 6:27-36 NASB: “But I say to you who hear, love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who are abusive to you. Whoever hits you on the cheek, offer him the other also; and whoever takes away your cloak, do not withhold your tunic from him either. Give to everyone who asks of you, and whoever takes away what is yours, do not demand it back. Treat people the same way you want them to treat you. If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. And if you lend to those from whom you expect to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners in order to receive back the same amount. But love your enemies and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High; for He Himself is kind to ungrateful and evil people. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.” Emphasis is mine.
Does Isaiah 5:20-21 NASB also apply to us? I think it does.
“Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil;
Who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness;
Who substitute bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!
Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes
And clever in their own sight!”
Worthy is the Lamb! Blessings!