Matthew 7:12 “Here is a simple, rule-of-thumb guide for behavior: Ask yourself what you want people to do for you, then grab the initiative and do it for them. Add up God’s Law and Prophets and this is what you get.”We learned the Golden Rule in our Sunday School class, you’re more familiar hearing it as “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you”, I have heard some irreverent folk say “Do unto others before they can do unto you”, and I fear that is the translation most often used! Point is if you want to be treated good, that is how you treat your fellow man, a kind of pay forward situation, isn’t it? Then we learn that if a person asks you to let them borrow something, not only do we loan it to them, we give it, and unfair advantage? Read it for yourself. Matthew 5:38-42 “Here’s another old saying that deserves a second look: ‘Eye for eye, tooth for tooth.’ Is that going to get us anywhere? Here’s what I propose: ‘Don’t hit back at all.’ If someone strikes you, stand there and take it. If someone drags you into court and sues for the shirt off your back, gift wrap your best coat and make a present of it. And if someone takes unfair advantage of you, use the occasion to practice the servant life. No more tit-for-tat stuff. Live generously”.In reading this we see that we are not supposed to hit back if we get hit, if someone sues you and wants your sport jacket you should give them your overcoat too, and if someone borrows from me, or takes the advantage of me in any other way I should not retaliate nor tell them I want it, the onus, or responsibility for payback, is on them! I would venture to say that there is not one person that is reading this that has NEVER been taken the advantage of, am I right? I can’t tell you how many people approach me with some pitiful story and how my tender heart aches at the hearing of it, I decide to help and then find out that I was duped, taken the advantage of until it becomes like a callus that you build up on your finger when you use your pencil wrong, I still have a hump of a callus on the middle finger of my right hand from misuse in school! After while that tough, extra layer of skin gathers around your heart until you can no longer be touched by anyone’s tears. Something happened to me that reminded me of how careful we should be in how we react to a hurt inflicted upon us with a purpose. As I was sitting at my computer writing the little alert sounded on my phone telling me I had a message. I touched the phone and it opened immediately to the message, it was from a person that I know very well. It was a lengthy and very hurtful in tone. I felt like I had been slapped in my face or kicked in the gut. I immediately wrote a response, but before I hit the send button on that message which came from my angry and hurt self, I took it and let someone else who knows this person as well as I do read it and their response was the same, this person did not write this! Long story short, we did find that another person had gotten this person’s phone and wrote that terrible message to me. When the person who owned the phone of origin was approached they were appalled and embarrassed. The next day I received a call just before I left for church, it was the person to whom I had shown mercy, when they heard my voice they broke into sobs and asked me to pray for a loved one that they had just received word was dying. I was able to pray a heartfelt prayer and the next morning I received a call “The prayer worked, they are improving, thank you for your prayers.”
I was happy that my Christ like nature overcame the beast in me! Let me ask you, who was more helped, the person I prayed for, or me? It was I.
Give mercy, get mercy!