Read Matthew 7:12. What must you keep in mind when relating to
others? Should we have this mindset sometimes? In some things? What are you fulfilling when you practice
Rule? Read Philippians 2:3,4. Should your reasons for doing something be
out of selfish ambition? Should your
reasons for doing something be “just because you want to do it” (vain conceit =
useless pride), without concern for what someone else may think or feel? Is forcing yourself or your ways (opinions)
on someone else, just because it is “your way”, a good way of nurturing a relationship?
What should be your guiding principle for what you do in your
relationships? The Golden Rule causes us to
want to see other people’s viewpoints first, before considering our own. What they would like, what is important to
the other person, etc. Are you using
the Golden Rule if you form a judgement or get an attitude against someone
without ever speaking to that person (Ecclesiastes 7:20-22; Romans 2:1-24)? Should our judgement toward others be solely
based on people’s opinions, without just cause or without a good dose of
self-examination? How should we judge then (Matthew 7:1-6 remember lesson
#30 on Self-Examination, p.59)?
True love is not always
easy. It sometimes hurts, especially
when you have to correct someone, to tell them the truth about something they
are doing or being to others and yourself that is ungodly. Read Proverbs 27:5, 6, 17. If you really care about someone, what do you do when the person
sins before you? How should you receive
a rebuke? Would you rather receive an
open rebuke or false compliments and flattery?
A godly relationship is one where you sharpen each other in love and
gentleness. True love causes us to be
assertive and confront situations, not be passive and avoid them. What is the
proper way of confronting someone in love?
18:15-17. Should you complain to someone else about a sin being done
to you? Who should be the first person
you speak to? Should you approach them
in anger or in gentleness (2 Thessalonians 3:14, 15)? What happens if they don’t listen to you and
continue in their sin? Read Romans 16:17-19. What if someone causes division by their
lack of repentance? Are these people
usually opinionated or are they submissive to the ways of Jesus? Are they into loving you or flattering
you? What should you do, fellowship and
entertain them, or keep away from them?
Why should we not associate with a brother/sister, other than to
encourage them to repent, who continues in sin (2 Thessalonians 3:14)?
Applying the Golden Rule
means we need to be trustworthy and not betray other’s confidence. This way you build relationships based on
trust and mutual respect (1 Corinthians 13:7). Spreading slander or gossip, even about politics or cases in the
news is not the way to build trust in each other and love each other with the
truth (1 Peter
4:8). All this is godless
chatter that doesn’t build up the relationships you have in the Body of Christ,
it just makes you more ungodly (1 Timothy 6:20, 21; 2 Timothy 2:15, 16). What should you be doing with others instead
of spreading your opinions? Let’s look
4:22-32. When you are
sounding more like yourself than like Jesus, what’s happening? What does “being made new” mean (verses 26-32)? Should you lie about your sin or try to justify it? Should you be
talking about unnecessary things that may make someone uncomfortable? Should you put people on the spot? Remember that the rule of thumb here is The
Golden Rule—creating trustworthy relationships that radiate confidence
in Jesus. Verse 28 brings up something interesting. What do people usually do when they’re not getting busy with
their lives in the Kingdom and are instead, busybodies? Read 2 Thessalonians 3:10-15; 1 Timothy 5:13. Is this a good example of the saying Idle hands are the devil’s workshop? Loving
one another is about making yourself useful to others, not being dependent on
others (being a burden) but on Christ (1 Thessalonians 4:9-12; Galatians 6:1-6). Can you help carry each other’s burdens if
you yourself are being a burden?
Coarse joking or putting
people down in front of others is not the Golden Rule either. Read Ephesians 5:1-12. Who should you imitate?
Should you offend someone with your improper opinions or language? Should you offend someone with your off color
jokes? Is it even proper to subject
someone to films or music that promote impurity, obscenity or any godless or
foolish thing? Should you be partners
with anyone who holds onto these things (verse
7, 11) rather than onto God’s Word and the fruit of the Spirit? Is sensitivity to other’s feelings and
emotions necessary to build trusting and loving relationships (Romans 14:1-23)? Be careful not to be offensive and not to be
a stumbling block (1 Corinthians 8:9-13). What does Jesus say about stumbling stones (Luke 17:2-4)? Be sensitive in bereavement and sensitive
towards sickness or destitution. Don’t
ever expect to be entertained without the truth or for you to be treated as the
entertainer apart from the truth. 1 Timothy 6:3-5 talks
about people who like to quarrel and are opinionated. Is this a way to follow the Golden Rule? Who likes to air their own opinion (Proverbs 18:2)?