God’s Word for Today: Unto
Matthew 7:12. So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.
I don’t know about you, but somewhere, somehow, and in some way, the Golden Rule of “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you” was embedded deep in the recesses of my brain.
I am not saying that I have been a saint at practicing the Golden Rule. As a matter of fact, I have failed many times. The word “self” has replaced unto, and caused pain to others. Sometimes, not very much pain. Other times, downright mean of me. For all those untos I failed at, I am truly sorry. And, I know some of my unto failures I will never be able to undo. They humble me beyond reason. The guilt can be crippling. Can you relate?
There was a light bulb that turned on last night. During a Bible study, we came across today’s Scripture. I had read it many times before. Well, maybe not actually “read” it, but rather skimmed through it. If I had actually read it, maybe I would have understood it’s imprecations. Hopefully, I am the only one that has had this Scripture pass way above the top of my head with no understanding of its true meaning.
What I have always done with this Scripture is automatically correct it to the Golden Rule. Just like autocorrect on your cellular. If you don’t proofread what you just punched in for a message, you might be surprised by what words are actually transmitted. Or, you receive that curt reply of correction from those perfectionists of grammar.
So, my self-autocorrect has been going on for years. Please understand what I am trying to say here. The Scripture reads “do to others”. I have always changed it to “do unto others”. I was easier for me to interpret this way. Simply don’t do to others what you don’t want done to you. If you don’t want hit back, it would be a good idea not to hit the other person in the first place. Cut and dry, simple Simon.
What this verse is actually saying is, what you would like done for you, you must first do for others. Simply put, if you want to receive good, you must first hand out good. It does not say, if others are good to you, then you should be good to them. No, it tells you to make the first move.
Little example. When I arrived to this young and growing town in Paraguay, and also in other parts of Paraguay and Brazil, I noticed a pretty common practice. Most people when they meet you on the street, or watch you pass by, look straight ahead. No wave, no head nod, nothing. I call it avoidance of contact. They stay in their world; I stay in mine. I am talking stranger to stranger. If you are friends, or have business to do, then handshakes are offered, word of greeting exchanged, maybe even Terere shared. Really, it is no different from life in USA. We simply avoid most common greetings. Except rural Nebraska on a country road, and most highways, and driving through town, or walking into a store. We wave, acknowledge, and say Hi to most everyone. The “wave” is prominent from vehicle to vehicle. And each person has their own unique wave. Good stuff.
Due to this background of just trying to be friendly, I have put it into practice here. At first, I was greeted back with stares of either complete surprise, mistrust, or astonishment. Now, it is amazing how many people will smile and wave back. That “crazy Americano” just waved at me again look, has been replaced by a genuine friendly greeting in return. I gave, now I receive.
Today, read this Scripture for what it really means. If you have understood this simple truth for years, good for you, but also shame on you for not telling me. Just kidding. Love others first, so you can receive love in return. Not do unto others, but rather do for others……….
Prayer: Dear Lord giver of life to me. Thank you for the Love, Peace, and Grace you have given. Forgive me Lord for not giving to you first. I am now starting to see the light. Help me to do to others what you have done for me. In Jesus’, who did the ultimate do of giving His life for me, name I pray. Amen.