“And as you wish that others would do to you, do so to them.”
Luke 6:31, ESV — The Golden Rule
“Here is a simple rule of thumb for behavior: Ask yourself what you want people to do for you; then grab the initiative and do it for them! If you only love the lovable, do you expect a pat on the back? Run-of-the-mill sinners do that.”
Luke 6:31-32, MSG
Sometimes I hit the switch, and shut it down. Essentially, I get wrapped up with one of my favorite sins and soon I turn off my faith, unplugging myself from the wall. I have a desire to escape from what I see as restrictions that I believe faith brings me. I want to have fun–I don’t want to pray, or read the Bible.
Actually I can do this so subtly. I just raise the volume of my sinful desires, and try to drown out that still small voice. I can maintain a holy life for my Christian friends, while I enjoy the pleasures of my favorite sins. Sins or holiness, I want to go for both– but the reality is I just get one.
There is still a voice that is speaking profoundly. “And as you wish that others would do to you, do so to them.” Our particular concepts of Christianity so rarely include this–“the golden rule.” In my own mind, I diminish this as a little bit antiquated. I will rarely feel its pinch or pull. It is never a topic of serious thought or meditation. It has become what I call–“an optional truth.” It is very much real, but it is not connected to me in my daily walk.
Treating others, the very way you want to be treated—do this! Love other people outrageously and deeply; because you like it when they do this to you. There is reciprocal action here, a sort of spiritual circle of kindness. Our vernacular says, “What goes around, comes around.” And it certainly has a ring of truth in it.
All too often we have a version of Christianity that has had its teeth pulled. We have tamed it, and brought the sharp teeth of the faith under our personal decision-making process. The wildness of a true faith is domesticated and ‘house-broken.’ And we start the rush to unplug things. The golden rule gets detached right away.
As I struggle as a mentally ill Christian, it is mandatory that the truth be lifted up in my life. I can become quite disturbed and manipulated by life’s dealings. My issues of paranoia and delusion cripple me, or become the step-stool for those wonderous things on the shelf of grace. Dear ones, use your illness to reach for the best, live this and change your world.
- Artist Research: Norman Rockwell (nex0003.wordpress.com)