Do not say, "I will do to others as they have done to me; I will pay them back for what they have done." Proverbs 24:29 NRSV
Okay, Proverbs has got to be the "social gospel." It really has a lot to do with our interactions with others in society!
This verse is a perfect example. It is all about how we treat others. Do we say that we should treat others how they treat us? Well, many of us quote the Golden Rule about treating others as we should like to be treated. But our behavior does not reflect the Golden Rule.
I am serious about this. How many times have a heard church members promising retribution in situations from their neighbor's yard antics to the latest bombing in the Middle East? It is all about doing to others just as we have been done to. The neighbor trimmed the crepe myrtles growing on our side of the fence? Well, two can play that game! I'm gonna "accidentally" mow over their day lilies lining their driveway. Heard the latest about the violence in the Middle East? How many folks have responded that we should just nuke the lot of them?
Do we really want to treat others as they should be treated?
Is it not easier to treat others as they have treated us?
Do we really follow the Golden Rule? Or are we listening to Proverbs 24:29?
God, you want us to be kind to our enemies, to love those who hate us. But, God, that is so hard to do! We would rather "get them back" for what they have done to us. Help us to think about your guidelines before we speak or act. In Jesus' name. Amen.
Copyright 2010 Amelia G. Sims