Do unto others as you would have others do unto you. Such is the golden rule. We strive to follow it and teach it to our children, expecting them to follow it as well. Yet, even as we learn right from wrong at an early age, we do not always treat others as we hope to be treated. All too often, usually without thinking, individuals develop a “me first” philosophy. In our crowded world, patience for others wears thin, old fashioned ideas become offensive and even a misunderstood glance can turn into an altercation.
The apostle Paul addresses Christian behavior in the midst of the Roman culture. He calls God’s people to live according to a higher standard. The apostle instructs Christians that as we are united as one in the mystical body of Christ, we should live according to the loving example of our Lord. “Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good.”
We cannot exact revenge against those who sin against us, nor are we to repay evil for evil. God alone is judge; in his hands are the means of correction and forgiveness. Our response to Paul’s teaching and to those who taught us the golden rule is to love our enemies, care for their needs and leave judgment to our heavenly Father. Surely, vengeance belongs to God.
Prayer: Give us hearts for love, O Lord, and pour out your love upon us. Amen.