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Several Hudson area pastors have written for this column in the last few months highlighting the Golden Rule Initiative, which is seeking to promote and increase civility in the Hudson area. 

This initiative receives its name from the teaching of Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 7:12). In it, Jesus tells those who would walk in his way, “So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them …”. Said another way, “Treat others the way you would like to be treated.” 

Easy to understand, difficult to live out (at least I struggle with it!).

Consider how to apply this teaching. 

The Golden Rule is not meant to be a measuring device to hold up to the life of others to see if they measure up, nor is it a report card for those around me-the self-appointed teacher. It is tool for self-reflection. 

I am to consider how I’d like to be treated -- then treat my neighbor in that fashion.

When one reads the entire Sermon on the Mount found in Matthew, Chapters 5 to 7, you are exposed to the radical nature of following Jesus. We get insight to apply the Golden Rule. 

In Matthew 7:1-5, Jesus, the giver of the Golden Rule, gives us perspective on how to apply it to our day to day lives. Jesus challenges those aware of the flaws of others to rigorous self-examination before offering “help” to another. 

Applied consistently, I wouldn’t have nearly as much time to point out the flaws of my friends because I would be attending to my own shortcomings, becoming a more productive and loving neighbor in the process. 

In other words, The Golden Rule is a win for my neighbor.

Perhaps you’ve seen the signs around town highlighting that the Golden Rule starts in the heart, a metaphor in the Bible for the control tower of our lives, our causal core. That is the territory that generates the desire and capacity to follow Jesus as we depend on Him for the perspective and power to be golden. 

Let’s be golden for one another, and watch hostility subside and civility and goodwill increase.

Larry Szyman is pastor for missional life at Faith Community Church, Hudson.

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