My thoughts (Tyler Connoley):
Whoever blesses a neighbor with a loud voice, rising early in the morning, will be counted as cursing.
At the hospital where I work as a chaplain, our administrators are fond of talking about the Platinum Rule. This is an idea that attempts to get people to think more deeply than the Golden Rule: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. The Platinum Rule says: Do unto others as they would have done unto them.
When I first heard the Platinum Rule, I was a little taken aback. The Golden Rule comes from Jesus, after all, and as a Christian I take Jesus as the standard by which I live my life. Are they saying Jesus was wrong? No. What they’re saying is exactly what this Proverb says. We should listen deeply enough to know what other people want, not just act based on what we would want.
Imagine you’re not a morning person (for some of us, this is easier than for others). It’s early on a Saturday morning, and someone comes to your house and bangs on the door. The insistent pounding wakes you up on the one day when you could have slept in. You try to ignore it, but it also wakes the dogs, and they start barking. Now you know you’ll never get back to sleep, so you decide to get up and see who it is. It’s your neighbor, bright and perky, with a loaf of banana bread. “Morning, neighbor! I baked you something yummy for breakfast.”
Now, you may like banana bread, but you certainly don’t want any right now! In fact, at this moment, you’re probably thinking your neighbor is a jerk for not caring enough to know your schedule. You graciously smile, and accept the bread, but then as the neighbor walks away you slam the door with a mumbled curse. “Rattin’ frakkin’ morning people,” you say (or something to that effect). Your neighbor is halfway across the yard, and might have heard the cursing, but you don’t care, because the banana bread feels more like a curse than a blessing.
If only your neighbor had thought about the Platinum Rule while trudging across the lawn to ring the doorbell: What would my neighbor who sleeps in on Saturday mornings want me to do right now? Instead your neighbor asked, “What would I, a happy morning person, want someone to do for me on this glorious day?”
Thought for the day: As you consider how to apply the Golden Rule, think about the Platinum Rule: Do unto others as they would have done unto them. You certainly don’t want your blessings to be thought of as curses.
We encourage you to include a time of prayer with this reading. If you need a place to get started, consider the suggestions on the How to Pray page.