Listening to a recent National Public Radio (NPR) broadcast about the Golden Rule was intriguing to me. The “expert” went on and on about this “rule” as it crossed cultures and religions and apparently she even gives speeches on the subject. But, the truly interesting part was that during the time I was listening to the segment, I never heard the Author mentioned, credited or cited: Jesus. Matthew 7:12 records it, “So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.”
In the book, Living the Secular Life, Phil Zuckerman (according to a NY Times article),”Extols a secular morality grounded in the empathetic reciprocity embedded in the Golden Rule.” He states that the Golden Rule “…is a touchstone for atheists if they feel obliged to prove that they follow a moral code.” Hmm, the Golden Rule without heart change? Perhaps mankind somehow sees themselves with the ability to ascend to a mental state of intellectual “empathetic reciprocity,” but I repeatedly find my own selfishness getting in the way.
Without the Spirit of Christ and the One who gave His life a ransom for you and me the Golden Rule can be just that, a rule. However, when Christ takes up residence in our heart the motivation to do to others becomes less and less about me. Jesus spoke, “Though seeing, they do not see; though hearing they do not hear or understand.” (Matthew 13:13)