“Therefore, whatever you want others to do for you, do also the same for them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.” – Matthew 7:12 (CSB)
We all want justice, mercy, kindness, and grace for ourselves, especially when we are in the wrong. We want people to give us the benefit of the doubt when it comes to the motives and reasons behind what we say and do. It sounds simple because in one sense it is. I am to treat you the way I would want to be treated. What’s so hard about that? Yet our inability to actually live this way shows how difficult it is.
The ethical vision in the Law and the Prophets is beautiful. It points to a world where total peace and harmony is the norm. This is the Hebrew idea of Shalom. Israel failed to live out this vision. The incredible news for us is that we are not left to try and live this out on our own. We have the indwelling Spirit who convicts, reminds, and enables us to treat others the way they deserve to be treated. We continue to stumble and fall but by God’s grace, we do so in a forward moving direction. What’s more, we look forward to day when we will fully and completely experience Shalom.