Thursday, July 16, 2009

The Golden Rule

I had one of those normal everyday situations where I got to flex my parenting muscles. It started with the following exchange.
"Mom! She slapped me on the back of my head!"
"She wrote on my math page!"
"Well, she wrote on mine!"
The resulting discussion was filled with teachings on tattling, example (particularly for their three-year-old sister) and, of course, the Golden Rule.

From Mark 22:28-34, we read that a scribe asked Jesus what the first commandment of all is (out of the 613 contained in the ancient Scriptures, and recognized by the religious leaders of the day). Jesus teaches that the greatest commandment is to love the Lord with all of our heart, soul, mind and strength. He goes on to teach that the second greatest commandment is to love your neighbor as yourself. This often called the Golden Rule. Treat others as you would like them to treat you.

So, after reminding them of this teaching from Jesus (I love the leverage He provides me as a parent), I reminded them to filter all actions and words through the question "Would I want someone to do this to me?" After the girls departed, I continued to ponder the Golden Rule. I measured myself, my attitudes, my actions, on any given day, against it. Do I always treat others the way they want to be treated? What about when they are not with me or when they have turned their back? While I may be doing the right thing, what is my motivation and/or attitude about it, and how am I displaying it? What example am I providing for my daughters when I am in a store or driving? The results of my thinking...I have as much to learn about how I treat others as my kids do. The nature of my acts against others may not be as obvious as those between young siblings, but that doesn't make them any less harmful. They may even be more harmful because, as an adult, I should know better. But as a sinner, knowing and doing don't always align.

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