the golden rule lived

Treat others as you want to be treated. We all know it--the Golden Rule. It's even scripture: "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" (Matthew 7:12).

My mom taught us that rule growing up. Whenever I'd be annoyed with a sibling and react poorly (which was not so uncommon), Mom would ask, "Is that what you would want, Charlotte?" Usually it wasn't. For years the rule was just words, and I don't remember a specific moment when it sunk deeper into my heart. In fact, I still work on treating others how I want to be treated. That edict is still trying to find a comfortable place within me. But maybe that's the point of the Golden Rule: more often than not it is uncomfortable, and it's most important to live graciously when we don't really feel like it.

Knowing the Golden Rule is one thing, living it is another. To live the Golden Rule means to pause before acting, to think before speaking, and to step outside of yourself on behalf of another. To be gracious and golden is to give others the benefit of the doubt, because really and truly, most people are good people, or at least want to be.

Living graciously changes the way you see people. You see with softer eyes and with a bigger heart. You come closer to living the second great commandment, to love others as you love yourself.

This post is part of a 31-day series on gracious living. You can find the other posts here.

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