Matthew 7:12 – ” Therefore, whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.” NKJV
As I prayed, meditated, and listened to the Lord remind me of some events and misunderstood or misinterpreted principles for Scripture I came away invigorated, energized, and inspired. He began at this passaged and asked me how many times I had heard that quoted with different words inserted. I remembered immediately a time in church years ago that there was a man there who quoted it, “Do unto others before they can do unto you.” Sadly, that was the man’s philosophy and yet he named the name of Christ and was a regular attendee at church. He had even sat on the church board at one time. When asked about it he told me, “Well the Bible says you have to look out for number one first!” I asked him to research that and give me the chapter and verse, but he never did. Instead, he would say, “Well it’s biblical.”
Then, I remembered a retired military man that would always say, “I don’t get mad, I get even.” I asked him about forgiveness and he said, “Oh they usually forgive me in time.” That wasn’t the question or issue, “what about you forgiving them.” He said, “well the bible says to not let the sun go down on your wrath and I never go to sleep without figuring out a way to get even.” Again, missing the concept and principle. He actually practiced that philosophy and yet was a regular attendee at church and believed that all was well with his soul and his attitude.
A few years later, I was called to the police station to collect one of my church members who had been arrested. He was a big burly guy that normally was just a big teddy bear of a man but had been arrested for almost taking a man’s head off with his fist. When I got there and managed to get him released, I asked as we were driving home, “What happened?” He said, “Well that guy kept bugging me and I decided I would do what you have preached, and I offered him my cheek and he hit me. I remembered that you told me to turn the other cheek and I did and he hit me again. I couldn’t remember anything after that and I hit him.” I spent the next hour talking to him about that principle and about forgiveness and suggested that maybe he should have walked away instead of sticking his chin out to be hit.
Sometimes, we quote half scriptures as our proof texts to validate what we want to do. There are other times when people truly do not understand the principle and concept taught by Jesus and the Word and act upon what they think they know. Then there are times when people just do what they want to do and look for an excuse or justification later. I cannot tell you how many times I have had someone try to use the Bible as a justification for their actions or indiscretions, even in adultery.
Yet, if we truly make the words of Matthew 7:12 a cornerstone in our lives with Jesus as the Lord of all we will be able to truly die to self. It’s time that all of us resign as regent of our universe and allow God to reclaim that spot. If we make ourselves, our desires, our feelings, our rights, our wants, our will the center of our universe we will fail miserably every time. If we make HIM, the CENTER of our universe (lives) we will walk in victory and find that He makes a way where there often seems to be no way! It really is not about you or me, it’s about Him! When it’s about Him it becomes about others!
May the Lord bless you as you go through your day!