Most of us learn the golden rule in kindergarten or even pre k. The world calls it karma but it’s nothing like karma. It’s not an “eye for an eye” kind of deal. That’s not how it works! Jesus was so good to both Peter and Judas yet one betrayed Him to die and one openly said he would never deny Him in the first place. Then as soon as the Rooster crowed three times, Peter had done exactly what he said he would never do. Peter denied knowing Him. The other disciples ran away and hid because they were so afraid. Jesus was so good to them and they acted poorly towards Him when He needed them most.
Remember the verse that says “Do unto others as you would have done unto you”? No, it doesn’t mean repaying bad behavior with bad behavior. It means being kind to unkind people even when they anger you. It means being nice to people that drive you crazy. It also means going out of your way to show God’s love, grace, and forgiveness to others even if they aren’t sorry for the things they did to you. Even if they aren’t sorry, forgive them anyway.
Remember, forgiveness not only frees both of you from the situation, but it also frees you from carrying bitterness in your heart, soul, and mind for the rest of your life. You learn to get better results if you treat others with respect. You see God’s work in your life and in their life if you follow the golden rule. You follow Jesus’ example not because you expect others to act accordingly to your actions, but because when you are kind even when it is hard, you need to act as though you are doing it for Jesus. Ultimately you are doing it for Jesus and that’s what matters.
Sure, none of us like it when we’re mistreated by anyone whether it is by our friends or our family members. However, if you want to be treated fairly and be treated nicely, you have to be the one that is willing to go out of your comfort zone and be nice to other people. If you struggle to be nice to people, it can feel very strange when you attempt to be nice to others. But over time, you can help yourself learn that it feels better to be nice to others than to be mean. It might take longer than you expect, but it will be worth it. Once you learn how to be nice to people, you can see how much your life changes. Once you’re living the golden rule, you start acting differently.
Another example of putting the golden rule into action is this: If you have problems with someone, you should not only pray about the situation but pray for that person as well. For instance, if you struggle with the relationship with a member of your family, and they aren’t nice to you, you can break the barrier between the two of you by being nice to them even if they aren’t nice to you.
Once you try it once, you’ll feel a bit better and be able to be kinder to the person every day. Sure, it won’t be easy all the time. God never said it would be easy, and you’ll sin daily even though you try not to. It hurts to be mistreated and treated so coldly but if you want to be treated fairly by someone in your life by a member of your family, you have to be the brave one and take that first step to be the nicer person. It might make a difference in their life, and it will sure make a difference in your life, both mentally, and emotionally, as well as spiritually.
Being nice to someone is better than giving them a piece of their own medicine. Giving someone a taste of their own medicine only feels good for a few seconds to a few minutes. Then not long afterward, don’t you have that nagging feeling in your heart of, “Oh man, I shouldn’t have done or said that”, or that feeling of “Great, now I’m as bad as they are for acting the way I acted”? That is the Holy Spirit reminding you to keep yourself in check and ask for forgiveness. It is also God teaching you to forgive others for their shortcomings against you. Remember, everyone, sins every day. Everyone deserves a fair chance to be treated nicely.