When I was young I learned a verse of scripture that my teacher called “The Golden Rule.” The passage of the Bible is Luke 6:31 (NIV) “Do to others as you would have them do to you.” It is a simple verse that many of us have heard over and over again.
Through the years, I have noticed one truth behind this passage that affects all of our relationships in a subtle way. That is that we do to others what we want done to us. I know that sounds like a restatement, but there is a deep issue at its heart.
Here is what I mean. If I am a person who loves to receive gifts as an expression of love, then I give gifts to other people. If I say “I love you” all the time, then I want you to say it in return. If I do acts of service to show you my love, then I expect you to get busy for me. It goes even deeper – If I am the type of person who says “I am sorry” immediately when things go wrong, then I expect other people to do the same for me.
I believe all of us struggle with this. We do to others what we want them to do to us. Then they do to us what they want done to them and we are confused. Each of us a unique and we want our own unique thing. One of the biggest helps I have noticed in the last few years is watch how other people treat me and then try to do the same for them. If they are constantly serving, then I try to serve them or with them. If they talk a lot to me, I try to talk to them. It applies to dozens of areas.
The bottom line, I want people to love me, care for me, and do for me in a way that brings me joy. For that to happen I need to love them, care for them and do for them in a way that brings them joy.
Easier said than done:-)