Dress up

While unpacking our house today, I opened a box full of memories and several dance recital costumes my mom had saved for me.

I quickly found a spot in my daughter’s room for dress up clothes, and after lunch I couldn’t wait to see what she thought.

Yes, all the dresses were considerably too big for her, but not too big for her to have fun and dream and play! I managed to get her into one without it falling off, and she pranced around the room as a princess.

Playing dress up reminds me of God’s love. When God lavishes his grace on us, the magnitude of His care and sacrifice is much too big to comprehend. But God urges us to try on His peace and joy anyway, and to see the world through His eyes and His dreams for us. He wants us to twirl around in wonder and delight in His love.

And as He watches me bask in His presence while my little girl giggles in a dress up dance costume, I can’t help but believe He is smiling just as much as I am.

Lauren dressed up in one of my old dance costumes!

Golden Rule

As Jesus stood on the mountainside proclaiming truth to the crowds pressed around Him, He spoke these words:

“Therefore, whatever you want others to do for you, do also the same for them – this is the Law and the Prophets.”

This profound statement is what many have dubbed the “Golden Rule.” Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

When you consider that Jesus said that all the law given to Moses and words of the prophets through the ages hang on this summary, perhaps it is much more than what has been turned into just another wise saying rather than a way of life.

Jesus also referred to the Great Commandment in similar fashion. He said that this was the most important commandment of all:

“This is the most important,” Jesus answered:

Listen, Israel! The Lord our God, The Lord is One. Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.

“The second is: Love your neighbor as yourself. There is no other commandment greater than these.”

In order to fully understand the Golden Rule, it must be viewed through the lens of the Great Commandment. If we were truly to love our neighbor as ourselves, we would be doing to others what we would have them do for us.

This is NOT karma. Karma is a completely unbiblical concept and Satan’s attempt to twist Scripture and take our focus away from God to us.

The Golden Rule is about an unselfish giving of ourselves for the benefit of others, with no expectation of return or reward. We are to love as we would want to be loved, regardless of the reaction. We are to share with the generosity that we would hope to receive, without interest or expectation of payback.

Most consider the Golden Rule in the context of our relationships and encounters with those around us. But, how might it guide and deepen our friendship and love relationship with our Heavenly Father? If all the law and prophets can be summarized in the Golden Rule, and Jesus also said that the most important commandment is to love God with everything that we are, the two must be viewed and understood simultaneously.

Now, God is merciful and showers his loving kindness upon us, and his affection is not earned or bought. He made us and cares for us so deeply that He went to the cross to give us the gift of freedom if we will receive it. For that reason alone, He deserves all glory, honor and praise and our absolute devotion and love.

What if we expressed our gratitude to our great and almighty God by obeying the Golden Rule with Him in mind? In other words, do unto God as you would have God do unto you.

Start with consideration of your prayer life. What do you talk with God about? What are you asking God for? If you find yourself constantly petitioning God to provide for your needs or help with making ends meet, consider the Golden Rule and give generously to God’s church and His kingdom work. If you are praying for the protection of your children at school, how can you be upholding the honor of Jesus in your workplace and home? If we long to hear, “Well done good and faithful servant,” how can we be actively praising God now?

The Golden Rule is not only about affecting others for good; it’s about God changing our perspective as we make Him our priority.