The Golden Rule

Most people are familiar with the Golden Rule. The Golden Rule was offered by Jesus in his Sermon on the Mount. "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you." - Matthew 7:12 I like the way this verse is translated in The Message, "Here is a simple, rule-of-thumb guide for behavior: Ask yourself what you want people to do for you, then grab the initiative and do it for them." So, when you see a person who is hungry or in need, follow the Golden Rule. When you see someone who is annoyingly irritable and rude, follow the Golden Rule. Rather than simply reacting to people as the world does, put yourself in their shoes. Do your best to hear their feelings, understand their anger/frustration/hurt. Treat others as you would want to be treated. Recently, I read an essay by Rebekah Simon-Peter (a very biblical name.) In her article, "Demonizing the Other Side: The Last Temptations of the UMC," Simon-Peter reminds us that we (as United Methodists) have a hidden opportunity during the Lenten season. "These 40+ days gives us time to think instead of react and time to pray instead of stew." So, rather than demonizing our opponents, we can strive to think calmly and clearly. Rather than attacking and hurling insults at those who disagree with us, we can react prayer-fully and care-fully. Here's the link to Simon-Peter's article, Friends, it's been a LONG month since the Special Session of General Conference in St. Louis. Many were hurt and deeply wounded by the vote. Others felt justified and vindicated. Many harmful words have been exchanged. All this reveals that nothing was really resolved. Sure, there was a vote, but opposing sides were hardened. Debates about how to respond are ongoing and heated. As we work to figure things out, let's commit to honoring the Golden Rule - at home, at school, at work, at church. Let's treat others - whether they agree or disagree with us - with gentleness. Let's try to put ourselves in their shoes. And let's learn what it means when our Lord told his followers, "I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. By this, everyone will know that you are my disciples. If you have love for one another." - John 13:34-35 - Pastor Caleb

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Apr. 2021 Newsletter

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