Many celebrities, politicians, athletes, and social media users seem to be having trouble determining what is right or wrong. (Or they just don’t care.) As a result, we are seeing an abundance of racist tweets, name-calling on Facebook, and putdowns in speeches and interviews. These remarks are widely condemned and then widely defended. Unfortunately, the condemnation and defense usually has more to do with politics, religion, or race than with right-or-wrong.
Apparently, it’s wrong when they do it but it’s okay when we do it.
The worst part?
Believers are beginning to act exactly like those who don’t profess Jesus.
Right-from-wrong is not complicated. Jesus’ standard-of-behavior is easy to understand. It’s called the Golden Rule, “Do to others as you would have them do to you.” It’s easy enough that preschoolers can understand it; simple enough that no one who violates it can claim ignorance.
Treat others the way you want to be treated. Don’t let the behavior of others determine how you act. Instead, determine how you want to be treated and treat others in that way. That is what Jesus taught.
Do you like it when people put you down? Then don’t put others down.
Do you like it when people call you names? Then don’t call others names.
Do you like it when you are judged because of your race, your sex, your looks, your accent, your education, your political party, or your income? Then don’t judge others. Then don’t make racist or sexist comments.
Do you like it when people post false things about you on social media? Then don’t post incorrect or misleading things yourself.
Do you like it when people use profanity in conversations with you? Then don’t resort to profanity when talking to others.
Do you like it when you can’t make a political, moral, or religious point because the person you are talking to resorts to yelling and screaming? Then don’t yell to others.
I’ve heard all of the excuses and all of the justifications, but none of them pass the Jesus test.
Treat others the way you want to be treated.
It’s Jesus’ Golden Rule, and it’s not complicated. It applies to personal conversation, political conversation, religious discussion, and social media posts.
If you are serious about following Jesus.