Skip to main content
Swift Presbyterian Church

    Our church
    The latest...
      Coming up
      Yearn to learn
      We ask...
      Site map

       Sermons | Passionate worship

      This sermon was preached by Pastor Keith Cardwell at Swift Presbyterian Church.

      Feb. 24, 2019 | Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time

      Follow the Rule
      Luke 6:27–38

       O NCE THERE WAS a woman who came to me with marital issues. She didn’t like the way her husband treated her. He was not physically abusive. He was inattentive. Doing things without her. Not showing her the affection she desired. That sort of stuff. She wanted him to change.

      I asked her how she treated him. She said … well, she said, “In return, I treat him the same way he treats me.” I suggested she change her strategy since what she was doing wasn’t working. Instead of treating him the way he was treating her, she might try treating him with attention and affection. Let him see what that looks like, feels like. It might change his attitude. It sounded like a fairly reasonable and biblical recommendation. Treat others the way you want to be treated. She bluntly said no. He would have to start treating her “right” before she’d start treating him “right.”

       † † † 

      THIS VERSE is commonly known as the Golden Rule. It is not unique to Christianity. It is a doctrine that runs through virtually every religion. The actual Bible quotation, as I learned it, is, “do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”

      This is mirrored in the Talmud, a collection of Jewish laws, which says, “what is hateful to you, do not do to your neighbor.”

      In Hindu writings, “Do not do to others what you do not wish done to yourself.”

      Muslim writings put it, “No one of you is a believer until you desire for another, that which you desire for yourself,” and the Tibetan Buddhist writings state, “Hurt not others in ways that you yourself would find hurtful.”

      Historically and universally, people have found this “rule” to be valuable. It’s easy to teach to our children. It’s easy to memorize. “treat others as you want to be treated.” It’s hard to live. In the personal day-to-day hustles of life, we gravitate toward “tit for tat,” “eye for eye,” “payback.”

       † † † 

      THERE ARE PEOPLE who claim this is a bad rule.

      Some use the Five Love Languages book as justification. This book claims, and I think rightly so, that each of us have different ways in which we recognize love — getting gifts, words of support, touching, service, and quality time. You like receiving flowers, so you send him flowers. But he’d rather have a night cozied up on the sofa. So, argument goes, the Golden Rule is wrong.

      Others say that to treat others the way we want to be treated is to get run over; taken advantage of; hurt even more. You treat the bully at school nicely, and he still takes your lunch money.

       † † † 

      BOTH OF THOSE CONCERNS, and I’m sure others, have a point but I think that’s getting lost in the weeds. There’s a common thread of how people want to be treated. People — your children, your spouse, your co-workers, your employees, your boss, your classmates, your friends, your “frienemies.” Across the board. Every person in every situation.

      ■ People want to be valued. Valuing people because they are human beings is reason enough to be ethical in our approach with people. 

      ■ People want to be treated with respect. Sometimes we say people have to earn our respect. What if we start off respecting them and they have to lose our respect?

      ■ People want to be trusted. I’ve heard that to be trusted is a greater compliment than to be loved. While it is true that we can be taken advantage of, it is also true that trust creates the foundation of a strong relationship.

      ■ People want to be appreciated. We all want to be appreciated for the skill and effort that we bring to the workplace, to family relationships, to our church. Showing appreciation builds self-confidence and self-esteem and frees us all to be ourselves.

      ■ People want to be understood. An inventor by the name of Charles Kettering once said, “There is a great difference between knowing and understanding. You can know a lot about something and not really understand it. The same is true about people.” We can be quick to find fault with folks who don’t conform to our thought process or patterns.…/how_do_you_want__to_be_tr…

       † † † 

      THE SWIFT CHILDREN read these verses last Sunday night at SWAG (Saved With Amazing Grace). They wrote down what these verses say about behaving as God’s children.

      ✔ Love your enemies.
      Be good to everyone who hates you.
      Ask God to bless anyone who curses you.
      Pray for everyone who is cruel to you.
      Turn the other cheek.
      ✔ Lend without expecting to be paid back.
      Be merciful.
      Don’t judge others.
      Don’t be hard on others.
      Forgive others.

       † † † 

      THIS IS WHAT “treat others as you want to be treated” looks like. This is not how we naturally want to act. This is not the guidance we will find on Facebook or watching talking heads on TV or from many of our friends. But it is how Jesus calls us to live and behave as God’s children.

      Treat everyone the way you want to be treated. Every person. Every day. In every circumstance.

      — Keith Cardwell   

      «Historically and universally, people have found this ‘rule’ to be valuable. It’s easy to teach to our children. It’s easy to memorize. ‘Treat others as you want to be treated.’ It’s hard to live. In the personal day to day hustles of life, we gravitate toward ‘tit for tat,’ ‘eye for eye,’ ‘payback.’ »


      Luke 6:27–38
      Holy Bible, New International Version

      Love for Enemies
      27 “But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28 bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. 29 If someone slaps you on one cheek, turn to them the other also. If someone takes your coat, do not withhold your shirt from them. 30 Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. 31 Do to others as you would have them do to you.

      32 “If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them. 33 And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners do that. 34 And if you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, expecting to be repaid in full. 35 But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. 36 Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.

      Judging Others
      37 “Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. 38 Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”

      — The Word of God for the people of God.
      — Thanks be to God.

      More sermon texts from Swift Presbyterian Church:

      Comments on sermons are welcomed and appreciated. 
      ← Click below to share this page with your friends on social media →

         Find us on


      • Presbytery of S. Alabama
      • Synod of Living Waters

      A safe haven


      to cause

      God joy


      23208 Swift Church Road
      Foley, AL 36535
      Phone: (251) 943-8367


      powered by ChurchSquare