The Golden Rule
“Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God.”
The Beatitudes are some of the most defining verses of Christianity. They offer something that was radically different than was believed before. If you remember the story of Job, being rich was a sign of God’s favor and poverty, illness, and hardship was a loss of that favor. Being blessed with wealth and power meant that you could share that blessing with others and pass on God’s love. Without riches, you were at the mercy of those who had more than you.
Jesus, however, reminds us of the real impact of God’s love. It isn’t found in what we gain here on earth, but rather resides in His promise for us in eternity. When we have lost it all, God’s kingdom is still waiting for us. When we hunger, God is there to fill us with His meal.
This does not mean that those who have wealth are left out of God’s promises. Indeed, God does not push anyone out because of who they are. Likewise, we are not blessed because God loves us more. Jesus reminds us that who we are, our identity, social standing, and our talents are not the things that define us. Instead, it is our position as children of God that should reign supreme in our lives.
This identity is what brings us towards God’s love and our role in showing that love to others, because if we know that we are children of God, we can see everyone else as children of God as well. That is who they are. No matter their situation or what they have done, they, and us, are called and claimed by Jesus. How easy is it to look at someone and judge how they ended up in a situation? Or sometimes, someone does something that annoys or frustrates us, and we can’t move past it? It’s easy to reduce someone’s identity to who they are in relation to us, rather than their relation to God.
This is what the Golden Rule is about, looking at others in the way that God looks at us. The Message translation writes the Golden Rule as “Ask yourself what you want people to do for you; then grab the initiative and do it for them!” It’s a call to action. Instead of passively responding, Jesus calls us out into the world to practice radical kindness for our friends, our enemies, and even those we don’t know. God loves them and so should we. It is only by working together as the family of God that we can make this world a better place for everyone.
And we mess up, as we always do, or we will forget who is part of God’s family. But, there’s grace for that.
From the Youth Side,
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