The Golden Rule
Text: Matthew 7:1-12
How to build meaningful relationships
Three things NOT to do
Do not judge:
Matthew 7:2 “In the way you judge, you will be judged; and
by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you.”
James 2:13 “Mercy triumphs over judgment”
John 12: 47 “If anyone hears My sayings and does not keep
them, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world,
but to save the world.”
Do not criticize:
Mathew 7:3-5 “Why do you look at the speck that is in your
brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye?
Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck
out of your eye,’ and behold, the log is in your own eye? You
hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you
will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.”
Numbers 14 “The Israelites were disheartened by the spies
report of the land of Canaan and grumbled against Moses
and God for leading them there. The people rebelled against
God criticizing Moses for leading them there.”
Exodus 16 and 17 “The Israelites criticized Moses and Aaron
in the wilderness. When they had no food, they complained
and murmured against Moses, and against God. Then God
provided manna, and they complained about it. He gave
them quail to eat and they complained about it as well.
They were critical of God’s provision.”
When we criticize others we devalue them by attacking their
character and personality, highlighting behaviors we don’t like.
It results in the placement of blame on the individual rather
than helping them improve. Criticism almost always results
in resentment and a feeling of being attacked or rejected. It
results in relational distance, defensiveness and distrust.
Do not abandon your values
Not everyone will appreciate what you have to offer. Not
everyone will be receptive to you. There are people that
simply use others for their own gratification. Biblically dogs
were scavengers, unkempt, not what we know as pets today.
Prowling in packs with allegiance only to themselves. “Dog
eat dog” world, selfish, without mercy, violent, defending
themselves to fulfill their own appetites. Aggressive to
secure dominance to meet their carnal needs.
Don’t devalue what you hold holy by feeding it to dogs.
Do not cast your pearls before swine.
The meaning is not to take what you hold as valuable
and precious and cast it before others who have no
appreciation of its value. Pigs will eat about anything.
They are omnivores, They eat grass, roots, fruits, eggs,
mushrooms, insects, and even small animals. They are
opportunity consumers, taking in all that is available
even to the depravation of others. They have a voracious
appetite and are not easily satisfied. They will move from
trough to trough to consume whatever is available.
Jesus is telling folks not to take what is precious and
valuable to you and share it with vapid consumers who
only live to fulfill their appetites.
A pearl is a perfect simile because a fine pearl is a
valuable treasure that needs no polishing or cutting by
man. It comes to us complete and lustrous created by
God through nature, as is the kingdom of heaven, which
only God could create and perfect.
Relationally what are the pearls that we hold dear.
Our time, access, and energy. There are some people
that no matter how much time you spend with them they
want more. They don’t add to your life in anyway, they
only seek to drain you of your energy to constantly meet
Our intimacy. Sexual purity is something given to each
one of us at birth. It can only be given once. Those who
are sexual consumers have appreciation f or the value of
purity and just seek pleasure no matter the cost to others
or even themselves.
Don’t abandon your values to those who have no
appreciation of your worth.
Three things TO DO
It takes a level of humility to ask something of others, but
it presents an opportunity to deepen the relationship
Asking for help or aid Asking for advice or counsel
When we ask of others, we demonstrate our appreciation
for what they have to offer us. I defined ‘friendship’ to Sandy
years ago as, “Someone you can ask to do something for you
without guilt or need for payment.”
There is an implicit sense of taking the initiative when you
seek something, Waiting for something to show up, or
waiting for someone else to take the initiative reveals how
little we value what is missing, whether that is an object
we have misplaced, or a relationship that has drifted. When
we seek out another person we show how much we value them.
In our day of technology, going to someone’s home without
calling ahead would almost be considered rude. However,
in Biblical times face to face was the primary form of
communication. If you worked during the day, you didn’t
just call someone up or send them a text. In the evening
you would walk to their house to see them.
When I was in Morocco a few years back I was so intrigued
by the culture. In the early evening after dinner, the men
would gather in the courtyard outside the king’s palace.
Tables were brought out from homes and businesses and
the men gathered in small groups to play parcheesi and to
drink mint tea until the sun went down. There was
conversation, laughter, and mutual care for one another.
They enjoyed being together.
The activity of going to one another’s home or getting
together to play games is not the point. The activity is not
as important as the individual who takes the initiative to
communicate and connect. This is what it means to knock
and to seek.
Treat others in the manner you wish to be treated
Do you want some closer friends? Do you know someone
who is lonely, or often left out? What if you were the one
who could not get out, or leave the house? Humanity was
created to appreciate and enjoy community. God saw that
is was not good for man to be alone. Community grows when
any of us determines to take the initiative to treat others in
the manner we wish we were treated.
Real love is “You before me.”