October 19, 2015

In Everything

When a group goes out to a sit down restaurant it’s not unusual for one person to pay the bill and for another person to offer to leave the tip. Regardless of the size of tip left, there are times when someone in the group will leave a few dollars more on the table. It’s not like they offer to help with the tip, they just add to the amount already left. The person who volunteered to leave the tip in the first place is put in an awkward and uncomfortable position. He can’t tell if they think the tip is inadequate, if they are trying to trump the tip by being more generous, or if they think they are better judge of service than anyone else. Believers are to put themselves in the other person’s shoes. Jesus said, “So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets” (Matt 7:12 NIV).

1 comment:

Steve Corey said...


-----This little saying seems so right. But as I spent many years of my life trying to figure why some people are so naturally rude and crude to others. Eventually I began to wonder if some people might have at least a little appreciation for the same course treatment they dished out. I grew up in small country schools attended by some rather rough and tumble farm boys. And we played rough and course. I saw the utility in that. Later in my high school years, with drag racing in my blood and engine modification in my mind, I found analogy of rough play’s benefit in shot-peening an engine’s connecting rods. When your plan is to wrap that engine to three thousand rpm and then slip your foot off the clutch flooring the throttle at the same time, hooking some seven or eight hundred horsepower into sticky, graspy pavement for launching a couple thousand pounds of steel, aluminum, and fiberglass from a dead stop to 150mph in nine seconds, those little rods connecting the engine’s pistons to a hard cranking of that crankshaft are going to moan and groan about just giving up and snapping. To keep them from being such babies, they are put in a box where thousands of small steel balls are shot against them like from rifles. This packs and toughens the molecular structure around the rod’s exterior forming a shell of toughness, giving it just a little more strength for hanging in there. I was always glad to know my friends were treating me that way. It showed they cared, though it hurt. And I’ve stood up to some pretty tough pressures since.
-----Since I came to like the toughening effects of crude and rood treatment (not that I want it all the time or from everyone,) then should I want to treat others that way I like? And, if that’s not perverted enough, some people treat themselves pretty atrociously. I’ve had folks point out the scars on their inner arms almost with pride. I’m not so sure I want them treating me that way; it’s a bit beyond just rude and crude. Then, I guess there is the ultimate -the murder suicide- wherein the culprit really does, to the sadness of us all, treat those he murders as he would like to be treated himself, as attested by the final shot. Cultures go haywire in this affect as well. “Do unto others…” bears some cousin-like relation to communally held sentiments behind the Inca’s bloodlust of tearing the beating hearts from fellow men to satisfy the monstrosity they worshipped for a god.
-----I think this all rather indicates that Jesus was talking to folks of better sensibilities. But even among those folks people have differences in the way they like to be treated. And so, they have differences in the ways they treat others. Not only do Jesus’ words still ring true. But thinking about it this way helps us shot-peen our forgiveness and forbearance attitudes, too.

Love you all,
Steve Corey