(Jesus said) "Do to others as you would have them do to you." Luke 6:31
Sometimes it's difficult to watch our tongues.
That point was driven home to me this past week as I waited in line at the discount store. The line was long and slow.
That was when a lady came out of nowhere and inserted herself and her cart right at the very beginning of the line. She looked at those of us who had been standing there patiently and explained, "I hope you don't mind. All I need is this dog food."
Well, I minded, but I didn't say anything. Not so for the lady who was behind me. She said, "No, we don't mind. You look like you're hungry."
It was a brilliant reply. I immediately wished I had said it.
Then, later on, I was glad I hadn't. The cut might have made me feel good for a moment, and then I would have felt guilty. For a long time I would have felt guilty.
It's quite possible the lady had some sort of extenuating circumstance. Maybe the lady had her pet in the car, a practice everyone should avoid, but some people don't.
Possibly there was some other emergency I knew nothing about.
At any rate, just because she was rude didn't mean I should be the same.
That's what Jesus meant when He told His followers to do to others what they would like to have done to them. It was a practice He followed throughout His life. In the divine plan to save us, Jesus listened to His Father and not those sinful humans who surrounded Him.
Yes, Jesus meant those words and I hope to follow them even as I follow Him ... even when I'm waiting in a slow line in the store and somebody, emergency or not, pushes in front of me.
From a devotion originally written for "By the Way"
THE PRAYER: Father, give us patience and understanding to handle situations where our responses are less than Christian. Help us follow Jesus' Word and example and do unto others as Jesus has done to us. In the Savior's Name I ask it. Amen.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries