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Habits of Highly Effective Christ-Followers

If you form the habit of practicing the Golden Rule, then you fulfill the requirements of the law

Habits of Highly Effective Christ-Followers
Have a Win-Win Attitude – Part IV

Scripture Reading: Matthew 7:1-14 NLT

Key Verse: Matthew 7:12 NLT
“Do to others whatever you would like them to do to you. This is the essence of all that is taught in the law and the prophets.”

The Scripture Reading for these last few days is from Jesus’s Sermon on the Mount.

As I have mentioned, it is easy to see the similarity between Stephen Covey’s fourth habit and Jesus’s teaching of the Golden Rule. We know that we ought to always do and say to others what we would want them to do or say to us, but it is a difficult habit to form. Jesus gives us a helpful hint of how to form this habit in the verses before He gives the Golden Rule:

“And why worry about a speck in your friend’s eye when you have a log in your own? How can you think of saying to your friend, ‘Let me help you get rid of that speck in your eye,’ when you can’t see past the log in your own eye?” (Matthew 7:3-4 NLT)

We all have problems. Jesus offers a humorous statement calling what is in our eye a “log”. In other words, Jesus is saying to focus on own problems rather than the problems of others. It is only those who can see and admit their problems that can successfully form a habit of applying the Golden Rule.

Years ago, I formed a close friendship with a man who without effort practiced the Golden Rule. When someone told him gossip about another person, he quickly said, “Oh, I’ve done that, as well” or “Oh, I’ve done worse than that”! He was always quick to remind whoever he was talking to that he had plenty of “specks” and “logs” in his own eyes.

With many years of pastoring people, I can say that this habit of practicing the Golden Rule is a rare among God’s people. This is not only sad, but it misses its importance, according to Jesus:

“Do to others whatever you would like them to do to you. This is the essence of all that is taught in the law and the prophets.” (Matthew 7:12 NLT)

Take note of the last sentence of this verse: “This is the essence of all that is taught in the law and the prophets”.

In other words, if we form the habit of using the Golden Rule, then we automatically fulfill all the teachings of the law and prophets in the Bible.

Jesus’s teachings are so simple to understand, however, they are not easy to live out in our lives. We all need the Holy Spirit to strengthen us and remind us of these simple habits that are indispensable in growing more and more like Jesus.

Father, help me to practice the Golden Rule today. In Jesus’s name I pray, amen.