Committed to a Golden Rule Life


We have committed the Golden Rule to memory; let us now commit it to life. ~Edwin Markham, American Poet

We memorized the words as children:

Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

Have you ever wondered about the origin of those words?

They were spoken by Jesus as part of the “Sermon on the Mount.”

“Do to others whatever you would like them to do to you. This is the essence of all that is taught in the law and the prophets.” Matthew 7:12 (You can read the whole sermon in Matthew chapters five through seven.)

We know the words, but have we committed to live them?




It’s not easy when we’re angry, or frustrated, or struggling to just “get by.”

It’s not easy when we’ve been hurt, insulted, or the subject of gossip.

It’s definitely not easy when we are confronted by rude and insensitive people.

It’s hard when we see the face of someone in need from another community, country, or continent.

It’s hard when it seems like everyone else is self-centered and selfish.

It’s hard when we’re just plain tired.

  • And We don’t even want even want to think about it when:
  • We walk past a homeless person with cup in hand.
  • We are asked to greet the person who smells bad or is dressed poorly when they visit our church.
  • We’re asked to forgive the unforgiveable.

You could probably add a dozen things to this list.

It’s easier “to do unto . . . as you would have,” with those who are like us or are loved by us. It’s much more difficult when “others” includes  everyone.

So today, I’m wondering if you might join me in a little personal assessment.

What would it mean to ____________ if I would commit to living the Golden Rule?

To my: spouse, children, brothers, sisters, parents, coworkers, friends, neighbors, etc.

To the: salesperson, server, teacher, pastor, church visitor, political leader, etc.

To the: homeless, lost, hurting, broken, dirty, etc.

What if we quit waiting for the other person to go first. What if we began each day looking out instead of in. What if we committed to initiating kindness, compassion, forgiveness, comfort, generosity, and peace . . . “doing unto” in every situation, always.

How about it?

You and me.


Committed to a Golden Rule life.

Photo Credit

One Response to Committed to a Golden Rule Life
  1. Dawn Paoletta (
    September 27, 2014 | 11:37 pm

    Deb, a lovely, if convicting challenge for my weekend. Thank you for this excellent post. It cuts to the quick in a beautiful way. I want to be committed with you (Oh! That actually sounds funny…But you know what I mean! kidding aside).

    Pondering before bedtime tonight.