FORGIVING OTHERS AND SELF
Read: Matthew 7:9-14
9 “Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? 10 Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? 11 If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him! 12 So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets. 13 “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. 14 But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it. (NIV Matthew 7:9-14)
Study: In this passage, Jesus summed up the big ideas he taught in the Sermon on the Mount, including God’s wisdom about human relationships. He had told his hearers to love their enemies, be honest, show mercy, and more. Those were not separate, individual rules, from which we could choose which to follow. They expressed the great principle of treating others as God treats us, and as we wish others would treat us. Sometimes people think the “Golden Rule” was just a ‘nice,’ surface-y social motto. But Jesus added, “The gate that leads to life is narrow and the road difficult, so few people find it” (verse 14). What people or conditions make it hardest for you to treat others as you’d like them to treat you? What are some ways you have proactively sought to treat others in “Golden Rule” fashion? How easy or hard was that for you to do?
Prayer: Lord Jesus, help me to live less in “demand” mode, and more in line with your teaching. Help my “default setting” be to treat others the way I wish they’d treat me. Amen