‘Do to others whatever you would like them to do to you.’ Matthew 7:12 NLT
Try to slot yourself based on one of these statements: (a) I’m always ethical. (b) I’m mostly ethical. (c) I’m somewhat ethical. (d) I’m seldom ethical. (e) I’m never ethical. Which slot do you fall into?
If we’re truthful, most of us would likely put ourselves in slot (b). Why? Because of personal convenience. Think about it. Paying the price for success is inconvenient. Putting others first is inconvenient. Practicing personal discipline is inconvenient. Risking confrontation is inconvenient. Most of us think being ethical is fine—unless we’re on the losing end of somebody else’s ethical lapse.
But if you’re serious about establishing an ethical standard to live by, you need look no further than the Golden Rule: ‘Do to others whatever you would like them to do to you.’ And: (1) It brings peace and self-worth. When all is said and done, you need to be able to live with yourself because ‘wherever you go you take yourself with you.’ If the only way you can win is by cheating, you lose self-respect, fear being exposed, lack confidence in approaching God, and your successes feel hollow. (2) It results in a win-win. Are you the kind of person who thinks that in order for you to win, somebody else must lose? That philosophy doesn’t work. When you treat other people the way you want to be treated, they win; and when they reciprocate, you win. There are no losers. (3) It’s easy to understand. You simply put yourself in the other person’s shoes. That’s it! There are no complicated rules and no loopholes.