Jesus once said, "Do to others as you would have them do to you" (Luke 6:31). It is known as The Golden Rule. I recently came across an anecdote that beautifully illustrates the reasoning behind this principle.
There was a farmer who sold a pound of butter to a baker. One day the baker decided to weigh the butter to see if he was getting the right amount. He discovered he was being sold less than a pound, and furious that he was being shortchanged, he took the farmer to court.
The judge asked the farmer if he was using any measure to weigh the butter. The farmer replied, "Your Honor, I am a poor man and I can't afford a weighing scale. However, I do use a measure. It is the baker's bread. You see, long before the baker started buying butter from me, I have been buying a pound of bread from him. Every day when the baker brings the bread, I put it on the scale and give him the same weight in butter."
It's the principle of reciprocity. However, the Christian needs to go beyond this principle because it isn't enough to treat others as we would like to be treated; we need to treat others as God treats us. And how is that? Well, he accepts us for one, warts and all. He forgives us for another, despite our constantly failing him. And then he says we should do the same to others.
"A new command I give you," Jesus said. "Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another" (John 13:34). So, how are we faring with this? Are we able to accept other people just as they are, or do we want them to be in our image and likeness? Are we able to forgive people their offenses, or do we want to act like The Godfather and make sure we exact revenge?
We are recipients of grace; consequently, we should be channels of it to a world that is so desperately in need of it. Therefore, let us make the prayer of Francis of Assisi our own.
Make me a channel of your peace
Where there is hatred, let me bring your love
Where there is injury, your pardon Lord
And where there is doubt, true faith in you.
May the Spirit be with you.