Command of Christ #18

This week's command is one of those sayings that many people don't realize came from the Bible. Have you ever heard, 'Treat others how you want to be treated.'? Well this concept is straight from the mouth of God and was emphasized when Jesus said, "Whatsoever ye would, that men should do unto you, do ye even so to them, for this is the law and the prophets" (Mt. 7:12). The command is shortened to 'Do Unto Others.'

It is interesting that the command starts with what we would want, rather than thinking of what others want. It is pretty easy for me to think up all the things that I want or how I want to be treated, or the rights that I think I deserve. And I all too often forget how others around me would want to be treated and honoured. This command is shown throughout the Bible and is why Jesus said, '...for this is the law and the prophets.' We are to love God more than anything and show it by loving others as ourselves. "Jesus said unto them, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets" (Matthew 22:37-40).

So here is a list of common ways that we want others to 'do unto us,' and how we can flip the focus from ourselves to others.

-Shown love: Who can say that they do not want to be loved? It is a desire that every human know that someone cares about them and know that they are precious in someones eyes. I Peter 1:22 says, "..see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently." As Christians we should show love to others constantly, and not just to those who loved us first, but even to our enemies.

-Honored: Many of us like to be honored and recognized. It is amazing how one word of praise can change your whole day and even encourage someone for the rest of their lives! It is tempting to only praise those who we like and those who we want to favor us. We should be attentive to the good character qualities of those around us and be diligent in praising them, no matter who they are.

I remember I went to a restaurant and there was a busboy who was doing his job so well and way above what the others were doing. The restaurant was busy and he was clearing tables quickly and efficiently, while it seemed like others were daydreaming and moving slowly. This busboy even got on his hands and knees to wipe up the floor under a table after a baby had been there. I was so impressed, because I used to buss tables and recognized what a good job he was doing. As he walked by I praised his good work and his diligence; his face lit up, said thanks, and kept on working. A few minutes later he walked over and said, 'By the way, you just made my day!" I felt very happy that I could encourage someone with just a few words and that it would have such an influence on someone! I was so blessed by just doing what I would want someone to do for me!

-We also like to be forgiven: It is indeed a horrible feeling if someone is angry with you...especially if they are mad even after you have tried to reconcile. Let us be diligent to forgive, just as Christ has forgiven us. "Forbearing one another and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any, even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye" (Colossians 3:13).

-Prayed for: Some of the most encouraging words that I can hear are, "I am praying for you." It shows that someone is willing to invest their time, spiritual energy and thoughts on you. Don't be afraid to ask people how you can pray for them, even strangers!...and then don't forget to pray!

-Encouraged: This goes along with honoring/praising others, but encouragement can involve more than just praise. We are in a battle and sometimes we get weary; it is so encouraging to talk with fellow Christians about life's struggles and encourage each other to press on. A simple note, e-mail, or lunch out can be just what someone needs to lift up a heavy heart. If God prompts you to reach out to someone, do it right away, you never know how much they may need it at that moment!
"...exhort one another daily while it is still called To-day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin" (Hebrews 3:13).

What are some other ways that you like to be treated?

-Am I treating others the same way I want to be treated?
-Who has God brought to mind that I could honor?
-Do I realize that what I do for others I am doing for Christ also?

"As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith" (Gal. 6:10).

Some notes adapted from IBLP's Commands of Christ study guide and pocket guide

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