In a present world not ruled by love the odds are against life. Based on survival of the fittest, the weak die and the strong prevail, soon to be outdone by something yet stronger. Driven to dominate and subdue, earthly empires leave behind a trail of blood. And so, the battle rages on. Reading up on our history books, we can’t help but notice that all man-made empires seem to have an expiration date. Telltale signs that an empire is on a downward trend:
- National self-absorbedness: The nation or empire does not care about the rest of the world. It only fosters matters of national self-interest.
- Power hunger – The nation or empire wants to grow bigger and dominate more people instead of collaborating with other nations.
- Favoritism of rich people and the upper class and lack of support of the poor and the disadvantaged is the mantra.
- Trashing the environment pointing to lack of interest in the generations to come.
To save our world, we need an empire of a different kind. Instead of the kingdom of man we need the kingdom of God, a kingdom based on the Golden Rule: Love your neighbor as yourself.
Interestingly, the concept of the Golden Rule occurs in nearly every religion and ethical tradition of the world, which leads me to believe that God has been openly promoting the Golden Rule all throughout human history:
- In ancient Egypt a late period papyrus (664 BC – 323 BC) contains an early negative affirmation of the Golden Rule: “That which you hate to be done to you, do not do to another.”
- In ancient India the Sanskrit tradition says to treat others as you treat yourself.
- In ancient Greece Socrates (436-338 BC) says: “Do not do to others that which angers you when they do it to you.”
- Ancient Persia: (300-1000 AD) “That nature alone is good which refrains from doing to another whatsoever is not good for itself.”
- In ancient Rome Seneca the Younger (4 BC – 654 AD) expressed the Golden Rule with regards to the treatment of slaves: “Treat your inferior as you would wish your superior to treat you.”
- Lastly, in Judaism and Christianity the Bible spells out a number of rules of fair conduct, such as in Matthew 7:22: “In everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.” Specifically, in the Law of Moses we find the following instructions (Leviticus 19:18): “Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against anyone among your people, but love your neighbor as yourself. I am the Lord.”
A nation’s welfare is based on righteousness; and righteousness begins with a change of heart – one person at a time. Faith in God changes the world inside of us – and revolutionizes the world around us.