Don't understand Golden Rule


I don’t get the Golden Rule! Just to be sure we’re on the same page, I mean the “Do unto others as you would have them do to you.” rule.

For example, what about the case when I’m scolding someone? We’re called to Admonish the Sinner, right? That’s what I was taught in my junior high theology classes. But that kind of activity is kind of one-way, isn’t it? In general I think I would like help from others in banishing sin from my life but the particulars of things I might say or have said to someone in an admonishment would simply not make sense if directed at me rather than them.

For example, yesterday I told my Mom that she should not use her cell phone while driving. I often tell her this and she seems to be using the cell phone less while driving. However, after I said that to her last night, I asked if she thought I should have held my tongue, and she said yes! This “holding my tongue” thing does not jive with me. Anyway, I rarely or almost never use my phone while driving.

So, what to do?

We should admonish, but not browbeat.

No-one ever said the Golden Rule was simple.


“He who has the gold makes the rules.”

Sorry, couldn’t resist.


What’s the problem? Admonishing the sinner is a spiritual work of mercy. You DO want to be admonished in return if you’re the one sinning. You may not think you want it, but you do.

Admonishing someone is not the same as scolding them. Scolding has an aire of correction with anger/ irritation of their fault. Admonishment is correction with the warning of the consequences of continuing in doing wrong, based in love for that person. Admonishment does not carry an aire of “know it all” nit picker.

Next time you are driving and feel the need to admonish someone, feel free to speak you mind, but don’t text them the admonishment. Safe driving!

You translate. You think, “if I were doing something and my mother thought it was unsafe, how would I want her to go about expressing her concern?”

You can’t apply the Rule in a wooden way–it’s a principle meant to establish empathy. You put yourself in the other person’s shoes as far as you can. The point is that you don’t treat others based on how you think they do treat you or will treat you or how treat you, but on how you think they should treat you.


Very nicely put.

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