Paul E. Little on the Golden Rule

One of the similarities is the belief in the Golden Rule, which is contained in almost every religion. From Confucius’s time we have the statement, in various forms: do unto other as we would have others do unto us. This is sometimes assumed to be the essence of Christianity. If all Jesus Christ did was give us the Sermon on the Mount and the Golden Rule, he would have actually increased our frustration. Few of us can consistently keep these.

Our problem has never been not knowing what we should do. Our problem, rather, has been lacking the power, the ability, to do what we know is helpful, moral, good, just, and kind. Jesus Christ not only taught the Golden Rule; he came to help us keep it. This is essentially the major distinction between Christianity and other religions. He offers us his power to live as we should, give us forgiveness as a free gift. He gives us his “new” life, his own righteousness. We can start over again. He does something for us we cannot do for ourselves.

Paul E. Little, Know Why You Believe (Zondervan Press: 2008), pp. 186-187.

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