Have you ever overheard someone saying mean things to someone else about you? Has word ever gotten back to you that someone was spreading a hurtful rumor with your name attached to it?
Thinking of a time when someone belittled you or made you feel worthless or not good enough, what emotions did you feel?
Would you want a person that you confided in to share your personal business with others as if it were today’s headline news?
How would you feel if you were excluded by your peers because of your appearance or your social status?
How did it make you feel when someone took something from you without your permission?
And what about the time when someone didn’t make good on their promise, or that time when you were cheated?
When we are young, we are taught to live by “The Golden Rule.” We’re taught to do unto others as we would have done unto us.
We try our best, but we’re human. We all make mistakes.
We can easily fall into the temptation of joining in with others to speak ill of that co-worker that doesn’t catch on as quickly as others, or that supervisor who we feel is unfair.
We can be tempted to look down on someone else, because they don’t look like us, or step on someone else’s toes to try to get ahead.
However, this is not how Jesus would have us to treat others, and it is definitely not considered loving our neighbor, as we are commanded to do.
If we struggle in this area, it would benefit us to pause for a split second before we say or do something, and think to ourselves, “Would I want this to be done to me?”
If the answer is “no,” then don’t do it.
It can be a struggle to overcome our fleshly nature, but it’s possible through the power of the Holy Spirit.
If it weren’t so, then Jesus wouldn’t have commanded it.
If you slip up, don’t give up. Repent, pray and practice at it daily.
When we begin to truly love others as we love ourselves, and when we practice esteeming others higher than ourselves, the behavior will eventually start to come to us naturally.