In the Bible, Jesus teaches us:
"Do to others as you would have them do to you." (Luke 6:31 NIV)
Has anyone ever done anything to you which hurt you or made you unhappy? Sure. That has happened to all of us. And it never feels good when someone else treats us badly. This is why it is important to always treat other people the way we would like to them to treat us. We should never want to be the one responsible for causing hurt for someone else.
Not long ago, I saw a boy trip and fall. The girl beside him immediately began laughing at him, even before she knew whether or not he was hurt. Why did she do that? Even if she had heard others laugh in similar cases, that isn't good enough reason to do it. How would she have felt if she had fallen and the boy had laughed at her? Or how would she have felt if it had turned out that the boy had broken his ankle?
We must be very careful to treat other people the way we would like them to treat us. This is still true even for people who have not treated us nicely in the past. Why? Because when you treat others the way you like to be treated, you set an example for them. You show them how to be nice even if they weren't nice before. Who knows? Maybe they will start treating others nicely, too, just because you were kind to them. Wouldn't that be wonderful?
Think about some of the ways you would like others to be kind to you. Then do those things. If you fell down, would you like for someone to care enough to help you back up? Then help someone else when they fall. If you were the new kid in class, would you like someone to be your friend? Then be the new kid's friend. If you didn't have a toy to play with and someone else did, would you like for them to share it with you? Then share your toy with someone else. If someone said something bad about you to one of your friends, would you like your friend to talk badly about you, too? Then if someone says something bad about one of your friends, don't join in with them.
Always take special care to think about how your actions will affect others around you. Try your best not to do anything which could hurt someone else. That is how Jesus behaved when He was here on earth. And that is how He wants us to live, too. That is why He tells us, "Do to others as you would have them do to you."
Copyright © 1999 Kimberly B. Southall. All rights reserved.