“So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you” (Matthew 7:12).
That’s pretty much inclusive of…well…everything.
That’s the thing about words like that – there are no loopholes, no escape clauses, no ifs and or buts.
Everything pretty much includes everything.
Had it said, “So in most situations…”, or even better, “So in some situations…” do to others what you would have them do to you, it would be more to my taste.
Now, what is it that we are to do in everything? What is it that God is calling us to do in every situation? Jesus tells us, “Do to others what you would have them do to you.”
But what if the other person really hurt me? But what if the other person really doesn’t deserve respect, kindness, forgiveness? What if the other person is a total jerk? What if I am really the victim? What if I was really wronged? What if I really don’t even like the other person?
And there is that word again…everything. In every situation, do to others what you would have them do to you.
- Do you like being treated with respect?
- Do you like being given the benefit of the doubt?
- Do you appreciate being recognized and honored?
- Do you like being included?
- Do you appreciate being forgiven?
In all these things, in every situation, in everything…do to others what you would have them do to you.
Finally, guess what voice the verb “do” is written in. Yup. It’s an imperative. This is a command. If you’re a disciple, you follow Jesus. Jesus commands: “In everything, do to others what you would have them do to you.”