If I asked you to tell me the Golden rule right now, you’d probably come up with “do unto others as you would have them to you.” You wouldn’t be entirely wrong but you wouldn’t have the full context either.

Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him! So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.

Matthew 7:9-12

We know that nobody really wants a smaller share. I went to a sandwich restaurant and the worker was measuring out the ingredients by weight, which I didn’t mind– until she put some back! I wanted that little extra bit of turkey on my salad. I was hoping for generosity, not accuracy.

Now this passage gives us three things: an example in human terms, an explanation in Spiritual terms and an application of the lesson. People don’t give their kids inedible or dangerous things when they are hungry but they feed them, so we know God who is greater and more generous will give us good things. Therefore, since we are to be Godly, we also practice generosity.

So “do unto others” should not mean “be nice” to Christians. It should mean give them a little better than they are expecting because that’s what we all hope for.

Ethan Kirl