Do you have a pet peeve? Is there some kind of habit or behavior or something that when you see it, it drives you crazy? Most people have one, and generally, their pet peeve involves when something they really value is violated. So think about what yours is for a moment.
For example, if you want to drive an impatient, type-A character crazy, you know how to do it? Waste their time. Get in front of them in line, like, at Starbucks, and then when you get up to the counter, and they’re right behind you, tapping their toe, and the person behind the counter asks, “What do you want?” Say, “Oh, I don’t know. What do you have?” It’ll drive them nuts because it drives them crazy when their time is wasted.
Do you want to drive a musician crazy? Be out of tune, or off pitch. Have you ever gone to the home of an obsessively neat, perfectionist person? Do you want to drive them crazy? On a hot day, get a large sweaty glass of iced tea. Put it on an expensive table top with fine wood with no coaster underneath it. Drive them absolutely bonkers.
Here is why I raise this issue. Do you ever wonder what God’s pet peeve is? That’s kind of an important subject. Ever want to know what drives God crazy? What puts God in a tissy? Well actually, there’s a real clear answer to that. Mistreat a human being. Violate community. Damage a person. Snub somebody. Use somebody. Freeze somebody out. Hold a grudge. Spread gossip about somebody. Hold back speaking truth to somebody that needs truth. Pass judgment on somebody because of their appearance...the way they look, the way they dress. Exclude somebody because they’re a different. Keep figuring out ways to spend more on yourself when little children are starving. It drives God crazy when He sees that.
I want to pass on to all of us today a Challenge ... to live this week with Golden Rule eyes. It’s this simple. Think right now about people you will see this week. People you live with, roommates, family. People in your neighborhood, people where you go to work, people where you go to school, people that you’re going to run into at a restaurant or at a store, a clerk standing behind the counter. People who are older, people who are younger. People who are richer, people who are poorer. People who are well educated, people who are not. People here in the church, people a million miles away from God.
Do a Golden Rule pause. You can do this. God will help. Put yourself in that person’s shoes. Just take your mind off yourself and pause a moment and think, Now if I was that person...their hopes, their dreams, their life, their fears...how would I want to be treated?
Then just allow the Holy Spirit to give you a little nudge to have a Golden Rule moment. So the focus is off of you. It’s not about how are other people treating me? How am I treating other people? By the way, although in the moment the Golden Rule can look like a sacrifice, even feel a little scary because you’re putting the other person first, you will end up with more love and more joy and more friendship than you know what to do with because that’s the law of inversion in the kingdom of God, where those who put themselves last end up being first. Where the people who live under the rule of gold end up empty, but the people who live with the Golden Rule end up full.
That’s the Golden Rule. You have a Golden Rule week. Be a Golden Rule person. Imagine us being a Golden Rule Church.
The word became flesh, so let’s get some skin in the game.