The guy could really boil it down

Matthew 7:12 12 So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.

Although we whine and cry about complexity in our lives we really do prefer it that way.  Sound counterintuitive?  Consider the really tough things, the difficult decisions, the ones we have to force ourselves into.  Do we want them to be simple?  Do we want some creepy little guy with pointy ears and big eyes staring at us and saying “Do or not do, there is no try.”?  I don’t think so.  So here’s a single sentence that supposedly sums up all we’re supposed to live by in the here and now (the Law) and what we’re supposed to do in the future (the Prophets).  You comfortable with that?  Do you find it easy?  Do you just love the simplicity?  My guess is it might make you a bit squeamish because there’s no wiggling out of it.

When someone stomps on your dreams, calls you an unsavory name, screws you out of money, a job, a promotion, a parking space, your spot in line at the grocery story, runs a red light and on and on and on.  You okay with treating him or her the same way you want to be treated, that being with grace and forgiveness and understanding and kindness?  I sure am (and I’ a big fat liar).  No, I give them what they have coming, a glare, my ire, a hand gesture, whatever comes to mind.  In the heat of the moment kindness and doing unto others as you would have them do unto you is surely simple but there’s nothing easy about it.

We want to stick up for ourselves.  In fact we try and complexify (yeah, I made that up) the situation.  We tell ourselves we’re looking out for the other party’s best interests.  After all they could cause an accident, cross the wrong person (someone more violent than ourselves) or merely be unaware they’re not extending the type of manners we feel are required.  But that’s not the message here.

The message is we are the example.  We are the purveyors of kindness.  We are the ones who turn the other cheek.  Much as we’d like to lash out, we don’t.  At least that’s the simple message in the sentence.


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