“So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.” (Matthew 7:12 )
It takes a mature person to think through a set of actions and consequences, and be able to foresee and understand how someone might react. When something happens that activates an immediate response, it is human nature to respond without thinking things through. A good example of this is when a health care professional tests your reflexes; a well aimed tap results in a leg or arm involuntarily flexing. The same is true of the human psyche; someone says something or does something negative, and we respond. It takes control and forethought to say, “If I do not respond carefully, this situation could get worse.”
However, in humanity’s recorded global history there have been more non-careful responses than careful ones. But it is at a global level where responses have to be even more carefully thought through than on an individual level. If the guiding principle for nations is to act towards others as you would have them act towards you, why are there nations who hate us and why do we seem to be on the outs with some nations?
We teach our children to play nicely, to share, and to not hit just because they do not like what another child has done. Does these principles translate to a global level? And if not, why not?
I do not want to make this to be a pointing fingers exercise. In the long run it is not helpful. The scripture passages this year are to focus on peace and by extension to spreading of shalom. Let us then admit that errors have been made in relationships, and that care has not been taken as it should be. Let us forgive ourselves, and forgive others as we wish to be forgiven. Let this be our beginning for mature and peaceful exchanges. Selah!