The Gold in the Golden Rule

So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets. — Matthew 7:12

An article that I wrote for Simple Wikipedia based on the principle discussed in Matthew 7:12.

The Golden Rule is to “do to others what you would have them do to you.” This means – treat others how you would like to be treated. It is called the “golden” rule because there is value in having this kind of respect and caring attitude for one another.

People of many religions see the value of this mandate and have similar expressions. In Christianity, Jesus Christ taught this idea to his disciples and others when he gave his Sermon on the Mount. It is recorded in the Holy Bible in the book of Matthew, Chapter 7 and verse 12. Jesus explained to his listeners that all the things that were recorded in the Jewish law and that the prophets had taught about concerning morality was summed up in this one rule. The context of this statement (Matthew 7) is in regard to God’s mercy and kindness. The principle that was shared is to not always treat others as they might deserve to be treated, as we may judge some as undeserving, but instead to always be merciful and charitable, not witholding good.

Some philosophers consider the idea that this statement can be interpreted according to one’s personal ethics, which may include wishing harm to one’s self, so that it instead becomes permissive to harm others. What Jesus said was to not be judgemental, as we all make mistakes, do not focus on the behavior of others, but instead focus on your own behavior and attitude and let it be good. In other religions and belief systems there is a similar concept of “the ethic of reciprocity”, also called the Golden Rule. However, there is an important distinguishing trait about the Golden Rule of Christianity. The “gold” in the “Golden Rule” is given without expectation of the act or attitude being recipricated. If every one gave freely of themselves in this way we would become rich indeed and perhaps begin to see the goodness of God in effect as He intended it to be.

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