This week has had me thinking of kindness and the “Golden Rule,” to treat others as you would like to be treated. This thought really is the foundation that kindness is built upon. Kindness is putting the Golden Rule into practice in our daily lives through our thoughts, our words and our actions.
It is a way of life that we all agree we should aspire to live… but if we’re really honest, it can sometimes be tough and easy to forget as we go about our busy lives. I doubt many of us overlook it intentionally but it happens. We get busy, we are in a hurry and if we are not careful we can completely overlook an opportunity to put our kindness and our faith into action. There’s actually a great story, told by Jesus, that comes to mind that really examples what I’ve been thinking. You can read it here.
You see, in the story a man is robbed on a roadside, beaten up and left half-dead.Two men, who knew the Golden Rule and who supposedly professed to live by it, came upon the beaten man but avoided him. They even kinda looked around to make sure no one else was watching and conveniently bypassed the hurt man altogether.
Has that ever happened to you? You saw something you knew you should help with but because you were in a hurry, or didn’t want to get involved… you overlooked or bypassed it altogether, almost pretending you didn’t see a thing?
So these guys are coming down the road and the see the man who is beaten and robbed and they avoid him, leaving him laying there to suffer and quite possibly die.
A third man, who for example sake, was the last person in the world you’d expect to help someone in need… well, he came upon the beaten man and felt compassion in his heart for him. He stopped and took care of him. He cleaned his wounds, bandaged him and even took him to a nearby motel where he went the extra mile and purchased a room for the hurt man to rest and recover in.
The first two men knew better. They knew they should have stopped and helped but they didn’t. I’m not sure why but perhaps they were in a hurry to get to their next meeting. Maybe they felt incapable of being able to help. Rather than at least try…. they opted to just leave him, thinking surely the next person to pass by would help.
But what if no one else passed by? Worse yet…. what if someone did come along but acted just like these first two men and kept on going?
The third man, he was different. He practiced the Golden Rule by treating the beaten man with kindness. He saw this hurt man’s needs and put them ahead of his own. He stopped. He helped. He probably got his shirt dirty. He went that extra mile to think of himself in this mans position and decided in an instant to come to his aid.
As Jesus was telling this story he asked those listening which of the three men acted correctly, someone said, “The one who had mercy on him” - referring to the one who had practiced kindness to the hurt man… Jesus then replied, “Now go and do the same.”
The moral of the story is this… if you say your’re going to live by the Golden Rule then your actions must match the words you profess. Don’t look the other way thinking someone else is going to come along behind you, instead YOU be that someone else.