“Do to others whatever you would have them do to you. This is the Law and the Prophets.” - Matthew 7:12
This familiar phrase was a command from God established in the Old Testament. It’s a good rule of thumb by which to live.
What would you have others “do to you?” Think about that and try to be honest. If we are honest, we must admit that we want others to do a lot for us. We want to be respected, to be treated with dignity, to be treated fairly, etc. But on an even deeper level, we want to be loved, understood, known and cared for.
Deep down, we should all try to recognize the natural longing that God gave us to share in a loving relationship with others, and to be loved by God. This desire goes to the heart of what it means to be human. We as humans are made for that love. This Scripture passage above reveals that we must be ready and willing to offer to others that which we desire to receive. If we can recognize within us the natural desires for love, we should also strive to foster a desire to love. We should foster a desire to love to the same extent that we seek it for ourselves.
This is harder than it sounds. Our selfish tendency is to demand and expect love and mercy from others while at the same time we hold ourselves to a much lower standard regarding how much we offer. The key is to put our attention on our duty first. We must strive to see what we are called to do and how we are called to love. As we see this as our first duty and as we strive to live it, we will discover that we find much greater satisfaction in giving than in seeking to receive. We will find that “doing onto others,” regardless of what they “do to us,” is what we actually find fulfillment in.
Reflect, today, on the natural desire you have in your heart for the love and respect of others. Then, make this the focus of how you treat those around you.
Lord, help me to do to others what I desire they do to me. Help me to use the desire in my own heart for love as the motivation for my love of others. In giving of myself, help me find fulfillment and satisfaction in that gift. Jesus, I trust in You.