Treating Others as Yourself
“In everything, therefore, treat people the same way you want them to treat you…”1
Sneaky Snake was the meanest animal in the forest. He loved to sneak up on the other animals and bite them with his sharp fangs. He had bitten everybody that had ever tried to be his friend; so, he did not have a single friend in the whole world, not even one.
One day, he was feeling very lonely. No one would even let him get close enough to say good morning. As he slithered around a small tree, he spotted the back end of a snake on the other side. "Greetings-s-s. Is-s-sn’t it a nic-c-ce day?" he hissed in his kindest, friendliest voice.
He really did try to be friendly. He thought how nice it would be to have at least one friend, but as he watched the back end of that snake lying there, so still, so exposed, so vulnerable, he just couldn’t help himself.
He bared his fangs, and his head shot forward in a lightning strike. His sharp fangs hit their target and sank deep into snaky flesh. At that very same instant, he felt a horrible pain in his own tail - just like someone had bitten it.
"Yowch!" he shrieked.
At first, he was mad, but then he realized what had happened. He had sneaked up on himself and bitten his own tail! He quickly looked around hoping that no one had seen what he had done, but just as he started to slither down a hole, he heard a hoot from the trees and Oswald Owl say, “Beware the harm you think to do, for doing wrong is sin. The pain you cause may come back home and hurt you in the end.”2
Simply put, God has put people in our lives so that we can put into practice the same kindness He shows us on a daily basis. But when we choose to withhold that kindness in the way we treat others, we ultimately just hurt ourselves because we miss out on the great blessings and joy that come with sharing close relationships with others.
Suggested prayer: Dear God, I ask that you never let me lose an opportunity to share the love and kindness you have given me, with others. Help me cherish the friends you have placed in my path, and may I treat them the way I would like to be treated. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Matthew 7:12 (NASB).
All articles on this website are written by
Richard (Dick) Innes unless otherwise stated.