This Sums It Up

“In everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.” (Matthew 7:12, NIV 1984). 

My Musings – “I won’t be wronged. I won’t be insulted. I won’t be laid a-hand on. I don’t do these things to other people, and I require the same from them.” (John Wayne as J.B. Books in the “The Shootist”).  As much as I liked John Wayne, he had it all wrong.  At least his character in this movie did.  But I suspect I would not be far off the mark in thinking that many people ascribe to this credo – I won’t treat people the way I would not want to be treated and I demand the same from them.   And it’s corollary – if they do treat me in a way I don’t want to be treated, watch out!    Jesus flips it around.  Treat others the way that you would want to be treated.  He takes the negative and makes it positive.   

What’s more, there is no corollary, because he starts this remark by stating “in everything.”   In other words, without exception.  Not just when you are being treated well, but even if you are not.  “I tell you who hear me: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. If someone strikes you on one cheek, turn to him the other also. If someone takes your cloak, do not stop him from taking your tunic. Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. Do to others as you would have them do to you.  If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even ‘sinners’ love those who love them. And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even ‘sinners’ do that. And if you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Even ‘sinners’ lend to ‘sinners,’ expecting to be repaid in full. But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.”  (Luke 6:27–36, NIV 1984).

My Advice – Don’t be like J.B. Books.  Don’t be like the world.  Imitate Christ. In everything.  He is our standard bearer.

Inspired by Pastor Kevin Rutledge’s sermon on September 26, 2021.


Author: thebrewisamusing

I was raised in a Christian family and my earliest childhood memories include regular Sunday school and Church attendance as a family. I was taught that our Judeo-Christian values were not just a part of our Sunday routine they should be part of our character and influence all aspects of our lives. I was also taught that as important as these values were they could not save us. We must also be “born again” by accepting Christ.

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