February 9, 2023 — The Golden Rule of Discipleship

“The other day,” Stan commented, “I was talking with a neighbor about the golden rule.”

“Do to others what you want them to do to you?” I replied. “Is that the one?”

“That’s it,” Stan said.

“Pretty simple,” I offered. “What were you talking about with your neighbor?”

“That it’s not so simple,” Stan replied with a smile.

“How so?”

“It may sound simple,” Stan said, “but that doesn’t mean that it is or that it’s easy. If it were easy, everyone would do it; but they don’t. I know that I don’t, and I suspect that you and the rest of the people don’t either.”

“If that’s true,” I replied, “and I’ll admit it probably is, why? Why would we not do to others what we want them to do to us?”

“How about discipleship or the lack of discipleship?” Stan asked.

“What about it?”

“Maybe if all the people were disciples who practiced discipleship all of the time,” Stan replied, “maybe we would, indeed, treat others the way we want to be treated.”

“Oh,” I said, “you mean like denying ourselves by not focusing only on ourselves. And by doing what God has for us to take up for Him and His kingdom, rather than doing what we want to do on our own apart from God. Is that it?”

“That’s it,” Stan replied. “Then add the third step of following wherever, however, and whenever He leads, with the ‘whenever’ being always.”

“If we all did that,” I asked, “do you really think it would make a difference in how we treat one another?”

“Why not give it a try?” Stan asked. “Let’s follow the golden rule of discipleship and see where it takes us!”


Bible verses to consider:

And just as you want men to treat you, treat them in the same way. Luke 6:31.

Therefore whatever you want others to do for you, do so for them, for this is the Law and the Prophets. Matthew 7:12.

Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law? And He said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the great and foremost commandment. And the second is like it, You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend the whole Law and Prophets.” Matthew 22:36-40.

And He was saying to them all, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.” Luke 9:23.

Prayer: Thank you, Father, for sending your only begotten Son to provide the way to you for both sides of eternity — for when my time here is completed, and for the time while you keep me here. Thank you for His words that show me the way you intend for me to live while I remain here. I confess that too often I don’t treat others the way I want to be treated because I’m focused only on me and how I want to be treated. Please forgive the foolishness of trying to live this life without being who and doing what you intend for me. Help me to treat others as you intend by following every step of your lead in being the disciple you intend. Help me to deny myself, take up what you have for me to take up, and follow exactly as you intend every single day. Thank you that I can and do bring these prayers before you in the name of Jesus. Amen.

Think on this: Have you accepted God’s free and gracious treatment of you so you know you will spend eternity in His presence when it’s time? If no, why? If you are a Christian with the assurance of salvation and redemption, how are you doing with being a disciple in how you treat others by denying your self focus, taking up what God has for you to take up, and following Him however, wherever, and whenever He has for you? If you sense the need for change, how is that going to happen? Is that what you want? Why or why not?

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