The Golden Rule

Have you ever looked at an 8 ½ x 11 inch piece of plain white paper?  A piece of paper like that should be good for lots of things.  But what if it had had a tiny red dot near one of the corners?  When you looked at the paper, was that tiny red dot all you could see?  Did you have to force yourself to be conscious of the 99.9999% of the paper that was still plain white?

We often do the same thing with people.  Someone can be a good person who has done much to help others.  The person can be generous, kind, unselfish and giving.  But let us detect one small flaw and suddenly that is all we can see.

Why do we do this?  Is it because we are aware of the multitude of flaws in ourselves and subconsciously we don’t want others to be perfect?  Do we feel better about ourselves by pointing out the flaws of others?  Have you ever said, “Well, I’m not so bad.  So and so does such and such.”

They did this to Jesus.  They wanted so badly to pull Him down to their scummy level that they finally found a flaw.  He associated with bad people.  Therefore, they reasoned, He must be bad, too.  After all, don’t “birds of a feather flock together?”

Shame on them.  Shame on us.  Let us rejoice when we have a good person in our midst.  Lord, give us generous hearts for others.  Aid us in treating them as we want to be treated.

Written by Roger Bothwell on August 28, 2002

Spring of Life, PO Box 124, St. Helena, CA 94574