The Platinum Rule
After all, this is the heart behind Jesus’ teaching in the Sermon on the Mount (where he issued that famous Golden Rule). Jesus said, in essence, “Don’t love others in a tit-for-tat fashion. Instead, be like your Father in heaven, who is good to people who will never be kind to him in return. Every day the Father makes his glorious sun shine on people who will never acknowledge him—even his enemies. Every day he showers sinners and saints with life-giving rain.”
Love people that way.
When you do this, your primary goal isn’t to get something from people, or even to convert them. It’s to make you like your Father in heaven, whom you love and want to be like. It’s to respond to the overwhelming love of Jesus, first poured out for you.
So when Jesus says, “Go the extra mile” (Matthew 5:41)—a literal command given at a time when Jews were legally required to carry the packs of Roman soldiers for one mile—we don’t think, “One mile is already irritating. Why would I do a second?” When hauling that pack one mile out of obligation, it’s a chore. But choosing to carry that burden two miles, intentionally and voluntarily and in response to Jesus, does something different to your spirit. It produces something no rule ever could—joy.
This article updating the Platinum Rule originally appeared here, and is used by permission.