Homer Simpson's Bowling Ball?
Do to others what you would have them do to you. - Luke 6:31
There’s an episode of The Simpsons where Homer gives his wife Marge a bowling ball for her birthday. Marge does not bowl, but Homer does. In fact, he had his name inscribed on the ball.
Sometimes this is how we play out the Golden Rule in Luke 6:31. Our efforts at loving others are really just thinly veiled ways to love ourselves. Sure, we’re not as tactless as Homer Simpson, but it often takes so much energy to figure out what another person really needs and wants that we give up, leaving them feeling unloved.
Jesus invites us into his new world - his kingdom - where radical love is the daily, hourly practice of those who follow him. Sure, it’s hard work… but can you imagine a world in which people actually lived by the Golden Rule? Take some time to think about economics, politics, and religion - how might they look different if we lived this out? Then think about family, friendships, and neighborhoods - can you imagine what it would look like if we live this out?
That’s your assignment today - to do some imagining. Really think about what it might look like in different areas of your life and world if it was the standard practice of treating others the way you wanted to be treated. Stretch your imagination muscles (some might call this Hope) and envision this new kingdom… and pray for it to come on earth as in heaven.