“So whatever you wish that men would do to you, do so to them; for this is the law and the prophets.” –Matthew 7:12 (RSV)
Taken out-of-context, one could almost use that statement as license and/or justification for improper conduct. Why do I say that? Because a “for” statement would seem more accurate and representative of the original thought, instead of the “to” statement; i.e., “So whatever you wish that men would do [for] you, do so [for] them…”
Semantics, I know. But that’s just me I guess. 🙂
So here is my other weird thought regarding this statement — it seems that it could also be used as an excuse and/or justification for simply doing the bare minimum, rather than going above and beyond what is expected, needed, or required per the situation / circumstance.
Over the course of my lifetime, I have witnessed people [begrudgingly] doing only what was necessary and doing so as quickly as possible — as if it were a great imposition upon them and their time. And just so you know — I am guilty of doing just that. I saw someone else do it that way and found it reasonable. How selfish and self-centered is that?!? 🙁
Why are we that way? Why do we find it such an imposition to give of ourselves and our time when someone we may or may not know needs our assistance? If we have the heart of Christ within us — because he is abiding in us and we in him — then shouldn’t it be a joy and a pleasure to be of service to others? Why do we think we should be able to pick and choose when, how, and to whom we shall be of service?
I think you know the answer to that as well as I do. It is a matter of our heart. Either we have the heart of Christ or we do not. When we do not have the heart of Christ, we are self-centered. When we have the heart of Christ we are Christ-centered.
So the question each of us must ask ourselves [and answer honestly] is, “Am I a true, genuine follower of Christ or simply a nominal Christian?”