July 19, 2009
Do to others as you would have them do to you (NIV). Luke 6:31
Being a collector of stories, I find them to be interesting things with a life of their own. By that I mean, some stories are told, then they are modified, then they are forgotten, and then some are resurrected for a retelling.
Recently, someone sent me a story about Dave and John who were hiking in the Rockies. As they walked, they spotted a mountain lion. Similarly, the mountain lion's hungry look said he had also spotted them. John froze in his tracks, but Dave sat down on a log, tore off his hiking boots, and quickly began lacing up his running shoes. John whispered, "For crying out loud, you can't outrun a mountain lion!" Dave smiled, "I don't have to outrun the mountain lion, I just have to outrun you."
Now that story, as near as I can tell, is on its fifth or sixth telling. Sometimes the pals are running from a mountain lion in the Rockies, sometimes they're fleeing a bull in a pasture. The story keeps changing, but the moral always remains the same: to survive we only have to outrun the other guy.
Is that the way life really is? We don't have to care about the other guy as long as we're safe? I suppose it sounds good, until we're "the other guy."
How different our present and our eternity would be if Jesus thought that way. How sad would be our lives if Jesus decided to save Himself and not us. Thankfully, the cradle, the cross, and the empty tomb tell us Jesus didn't think that way.
And He doesn't want us to think or live that way either. In a beautiful and incredibly concise way He tells His people: "Do to others as you would have them do to you." If everyone followed Jesus' rule, this world would be transformed, and we'd have a whole lot less over-fed mountain lions around.
From a devotion originally written for "By the Way"
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, it's such a blessing when we encounter people that are a reflection of You. Make me one of them. Help me treat others in such a way that when people see or hear me, they will see the presence of the Redeemer who sacrificed Himself for my salvation. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries