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Commentary » Matthew 7:7-Matthew 7:12 » Family-Times.net
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The Golden Rule

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James Cash Penney’s first venture as a retail proprietor was a butcher-shop in Longmont, Colorado which opened in 1899 and failed almost immediately, after he refused to bribe an important local hotel chef with a weekly bottle of bourbon. “I lost everything I had,” said … More

Golden Rule

This passage makes a perfect bridge between the negative teaching about a critical spirit and the positive teaching of the golden rule. If we would sincerely pray for those whom we are prone to criticize we would ultimately do them much more good. We can be sure that God welcomes prayer from His children and He delights in giving good gifts to them (v. 11). If an earthly father with his sinful nature delights in giving material things to his children, it certainly makes sense that our righteous heavenly Father will much more delight in giving “good things” to His children who ask.

Verse 12 is commonly referred to as “the Golden Rule” and is one of the most misunderstood statements in the Bible. It is not God’s plan of redemption. A person’s righteous acts do not save him but when he is saved he is then able to demonstrate true righteousness toward others. The principle taught here only applies to believers and ought to govern our attitudes toward others. If we would rather have people pray for us than criticize us, then we ought to be willing to do the same for them.  Practicing “the Golden Rule” releases the love of God in our lives and makes it possible for us to help others, even when they want to hurt us.

Application

How I treat others is not to be determined by how I expect them to treat me or by how I think they should treat me but by how I would hope they would treat me. Who is someone I have criticized and need to pray for.

Matthew 7:7-12 (English Standard Version)

"Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. Or which one of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him! "So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets."

View this passage in NIV (Bible Gateway) »

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