The Platinum Rule
Posted by Rev. Jeff Dixon, Senior Equipping Minister at Covenant Community Church on Apr 1, 2000, 12:55
We live in a day and age when we want things done right, done well, done quickly, and we want to move on to other pressing items. So it goes in the culture we live in. As a communicator I believe this is important. (Now I hear someone thinking, sure. . .if he thinks it is important why doesn’t he cut two points out of his sermon next week?. . .I told you I could hear you thinking.)
The emphasis today is on simplifying things. Sometimes that is easy to do. At other times that is difficult.
Let me show you how important it is to keep things simple and how the most important things often are simple. For example, if you were to read the words to the Gettysburg Address you would see it contains only 286 words. More impressive than that is that the Lord’s Prayer only contains 66 words. The Ten Commandments contains 179 words. That is not bad when it explains the top ten list God gave Moses so many years ago! Our nation began with a Declaration of Independence which contains 1300 words. In very few words the battlecry for freedom had begun. The Pythagorean Theorem contains a mere 24 words and Archimedes’ Principle contains only 67. Yet a United States Government Regulation on the sale of Cabbage in this country is a document that contains 26,911 words.
There is a need to simplify and get to the heart of the matter.
One time a luncheon speaker went way beyond his time limit. Upon finishing he turned to the host, Will Rogers and said, “I’m sorry I went beyond my limit, but I left my watch at home.”
Will Rogers responded, “Don’t you even have a pocket calendar?”
Don’t get confused here, I am suggesting that there are times when we learn to keep things simple, but I am not saying that it is easy. I believe that the simple things often will be the most complex. Not only the most complex but at times the most deep. When you have heard preachers talk about having a simple faith, they don’t always tell you that living a life of simple faith can be very complicated and it takes quite a journey to get there.
When it comes to words to live by, many of us grew up living by the Golden Rule. It sounded simple, yet it was very complicated to make it happen. You remember it. . .“Do unto others as you would have them do unto you!” People have been living by this for years. Jesus even referred to it as saying that “it summed up the Law and the Prophets” (Matthew 7:12). But I think if you are going to get down to the nitty gritty of what is the most important thing as a believer then you need to ask Jesus himself. His response is the response that has helped Covenant Community Church develop it’s vision “to touch and change the world with the love of Jesus.”
Jesus on his last night with His closest friends said, “A new commandment I give to you. . .Love one another. . .As I have loved you, so you must love one another. . .By this will all men know you are my disciples if you love one another” (John 13:34-35).
In this moment Jesus is saying something far beyond the “golden rule” mentality of doing to others like you want them to do to you....instead He is saying do unto others...what I have done for you. For Jesus there was something beyond “gold” status. Jesus was calling for “platinum” discipleship. Instead of the Golden Rule we as a people must embrace the Platinum Rule...it is this: “Do unto others as Christ would have you do unto them”.
Then the natural question is “What did Jesus do for us?”
He loved us so much that He “laid down” His life for us. In John 10:11, He reminds us that He is the good shepherd and the shepherd lays down His life for His sheep. Jesus taught that the greatest expression of love was when we are willing to lay down our lives for another (John 15:13). Jesus made us His friend by laying down his life for us (Romans 5:8). That leaves us thinking about the fundamental issue of the Platinum Rule... what are you and I willing to “lay down” that others might pick up the life of faith.
The reason for calling it the platinum rule is that platinum will trump a gold card every time, just ask any credit card company.
This impacts our philosophy of ministry by recognizing that we must do whatever, whenever, and wherever approaches to ministry. For years I found myself dealing with people on this issue. The question in ministry is are YOU willing to be adaptable and flexible... without changing the core of the message. When you start living by the Platinum Rule you find out that it is not about you, it is about Jesus and what He wants. It is never about what you like and think is best...it is about what He likes and He thinks is best.
Now what about it...are you willing to start living by the Platinum Rule?
If you are it will Impact the World in a way that will amaze you. But I must warn you, it will result in the Adventure of a Lifetime...you will be different and the world you live in will be different!
Someone once wrote:
He is the way
Follow Him through the Land of Unlikeliness. . .
You will see rare things and have unique adventures!
Think about it!
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