Thursday, February 9, 2023

How the Golden Rule Transforms Love


By: Donna Bucher

Does anyone remember learning “The Golden Rule” in grade school?

I remember hearing this rule first presented in my first-grade class with Mrs. King. A unique and loving woman, Mrs. King took time to pray with us before class each day, teaching us simple songs about Jesus. 

She was also a staunch proponent of The Golden Rule. Written on the blackboard in the front of the room, she reminded us of it often.

Once I left Mrs. King’s class, I seldom heard anything more about it. But as an adult, I came across Matthew 7:12 in the Bible:

“Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.”

Considering this verse as an adult, I realized it held more than my initial understanding of the Golden Rule. The reference to “all the law and the prophets” led me to a deeper study of the meaning within the biblical golden rule.

Later in the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus clarifies the meaning of Matthew 7:12 in Matthew 22:36-40.

When asked which was the greatest commandment, He quoted Deuteronomy 6:5, stating, “to love God with all your heart, mind, soul and strength”. He then added to love your neighbor as yourself.

Adding all the “law and prophets” were summarized in those two commandments.


His answer forces a change in perspective; first, love GOD with all of your being, then from that place, love your neighbor as yourself. 

Ensuring those listening to Him understood, He re-framed the second part by saying:

“Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them”.

If we love our neighbor as ourselves, we treat them the way we want to be treated.

Loving God with all of my heart, soul, mind, and strength positions me to love my neighbor as myself. This is the sum total of God’s law.

The shocking truth about the Golden Rule is the power of love. Not a big set of regulations or list of requisite behavior traits.

We truly love others as we desire to be loved, with humility, gentleness, and patience. 

Focusing on loving GOD above all else, and subsequently loving my neighbor as myself, resets my priorities. In this I learn the beauty of self-forgetfulness, my focus shifts from my needs to the needs of others.

When I stopped focusing on whether “my neighbor” deserved my love and service or would reciprocate in kind, I truly loved.

This love transformed me from self-focus, and anxiety about my own needs and allowed me to be the answer to someone else’s prayer. As I surrendered to this way of loving, I found healing and comfort, while watching God meet my needs.


What would happen if we took the shocking truth of the Golden Rule seriously and began living it today?

How much suffering could we relieve for others and ourselves?

Find more encouragement and FREE Resources at Serenity in Suffering!


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  1. Thank you so much for this article, Donna. Loving others well doesn't come "naturally" to man, but through God's grace it can be for a Christ follower as we grow in the knowledge of our Savior.

  2. Thank you so much for reading and sharing your kind words! It is definitely not always easy to love others, but allowing God to love them through us, can change any relationship!


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