Matthew 7:12 “So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.”
This verse wouldn’t be so difficult if it weren’t for that first phrase, “So in everything”. I could handle it if all it said was, “sometimes do to others what you would have them do to you”, or even “most of the time do to others what you would have them do to you”. But in everything! Do I always do to others what I would have them do to me? No, I fall short of this one in so many ways.
Let me look at a few examples. How about work? Do I do to my co-workers what I would have them do to me, in everything? Nope. Sometimes I criticize their work and judge their lack of effort. I sure wouldn’t like it if they returned to favor. And what about with my boss? Do I do to my boss what I would have him do to me, in everything? Again, I would have to say no. There are times that I have avoided my boss because I wasn’t done with my assignment yet and I didn’t want to admit it. I don’t want those under me behaving that way so why do I do it?
Let me try a little closer to home. What about with my wife? Do I always, in every way, do to her what I would have her do to me? Nope. Once again I fall short. There are times that I am too busy or preoccupied to listen to what she is saying. I make her repeat herself until I catch it all because I am only hearing half of what she is saying. That wouldn’t make me feel close if she acted that way, so why do I think that’s ok?
And what about with God? Do I do to God what I would have Him do to me? Regretfully, no. I turn my back on Him and follow other gods. I go silent and don’t talk to Him for periods of time. I doubt His love for me and seek the love and affirmation of others instead. I sure wouldn’t like it if God acted that way towards me. And yet, in my brokenness, I do this time and time again.
Even though I fail repeatedly, miserably, I keep trying. I keep pressing into Jesus in the hopes of becoming a little more like Him. Every day I fail and every day I succeed. So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you. Thanks for the example Jesus. Help me to follow in your steps.