What Is the “Golden Rule”?

Well, I just finished reading yet another rant.  There is no other word for it.  It wasn’t even a logical rant.  It spouted off a bunch of stuff about “judging”, “religion”, “rules”, “separation of church and state” and “treat others as you wish to be treated”.  Basically, there were only partial quotes taken out of context to back up what the author thought was Jesus’ message, but none of it had any substance to it.

According to that author, everything Jesus did in His life was “vetted by the Golden Rule”.  Of course, while not far from the mark, it really wasn’t “treat others as you wish to be treated” but rather “Do to others as you would have them do to you” (Lk 6:31, NIV).

And yet, was this really the “golden rule”?  Or, perhaps the question is better put as, “What was the most important rule according to Jesus?”

Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.

This is the first and great commandment.

~ Mt 22:37-38

That was the rule Jesus vetted His actions through first and foremost.

That is important to keep in mind.  The “second commandment” is subordinate to the first, or primary, commandment.  In reality, this lower rule should be called the “silver rule”!

It is also important to keep in mind because when Jesus “broke most of [H]is religion’s rules”, it was the rules of the Pharisees that were added to God’s Laws that He had no respect for.  He still kept His Father’s Laws!  If He did not, He too would have been a sinner, and thus He could no longer die for anyone’s sins.

Therefore, consider when you are complaining about a religion’s rules whether or not you are complaining about man-made rules and traditions or if you are complaining about God’s rules.  Israel was fond of complaining and murmuring in the wilderness after leaving Egypt.  Perhaps their story should provide us with caution about Whom we complain against.


  1. ucgmikebennett

    Thanks for the interesting twist on what's commonly called the Golden Rule. Silver is important too, but Christ is the one who set the gold standard!