How to Love and Live the Golden Rule Life

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How would your life be different if you committed to living the Golden Rule life? If everyone lived it? Here are some things you can do to inspire change...

How would your life be different if you committed to living the Golden Rule life?

How would all our lives be different if everyone committed to living by The Golden Rule?

You memorized like this…

“Do to others what you would have them do to you.” Matthew 7:12 (NIV)

Easy words to memorize but hard words to live.

The Message puts it this way…

“Here is a simple, rule-of-thumb guide for behavior: Ask yourself what you want people to do for you, then grab the initiative and do it for them. Add up God’s Law and Prophets and this is what you get.”

“A simple, rule-of-thumb guide for behavior.”

But it’s not simple, is it?

It’s not simple when you’re angry, or frustrated.

It’s hard when you’re hurt because you’ve been insulted or the subject of gossip.

It’s definitely not simple when rude and insensitive people confront you.

It’s difficult when it feels like everyone else is self-centered and selfish.

It’s not simple when you’re overworked and exhausted.

Let’s face it . . . it’s just not simple.

The Golden Rule life is especially hard when…

  • You walk past a homeless person looking for a handout.
  • You’re asked to welcome the person who’s poorly dressed or smells bad to your church.
  • You’re asked to forgive the unforgivable.

I’m guessing we could go on and on adding dozens of things to these lists.


Let’s stop and look at some practical ways do better at living the Golden Rule Life.

How would your life be different if you committed to living the Golden Rule life? If everyone lived it? Here are some things you can do to inspire change...

How to Love and Live the Golden Rule Life

1. Be Aware

It’s so easy to get caught up in our own busyness we hardly notice the battles going on in the lives of the people around us. I’m guilty. I’m challenging myself to put away my phone, look up, and se the life around me.

“There is nothing like looking if you want to find something.” ~J.R.R. Tolkien

2. Be Authentic

This one’s hard. It’s easier to put a revised and polished image out there then it is to admit our mistakes and ask for forgiveness. I’m challenging myself to admit that I’m a mess and do a better job of connecting other people who are messy, too.

“Live authentically. Why would you continue to compromise something that’s beautiful to create something that is fake?” ~Steve Maraboli

3. Be Present

Sometimes the best way to love someone is to just be there for them . . . to hold a hand or cry together. No words needed just a quiet caring connection. I’m challenging myself to do be better about spending time with those who are hurting.

“Just being there for someone can sometimes bring hope when all seems hopeless.” ~Dave G. Llewelyn

4. Be Appreciative

Say “please” and thank you.” This is a favorite of mine. It takes so little effort to let someone know you are thankful for them and for the kindness they show.

“Feeling gratitude, and not expressing it, is like wrapping a present and not giving it.” ~William Arthur Ward

5. Be Kind

It’s easy to be kind to people who are kind . . . harder to those who are unkind. I’m challenging myself to respond to rude behavior with kindness even when it’s hard. And it’s always hard!

“A kind gesture can reach a wound that only compassion can heal.” ~Steve Maraboli

6. Be a Listener

The best way to learn about someone is to listen to them . . . especially those with whom we don’t agree. Social media makes it easy for us to block people with differing opinions. I’m challenging myself to be a better listener with an effort to understand and care.

“There’s a lot of difference between listening and hearing.” ~G.K. Chesterton

7. Be Patient

I get it. You’re in a hurry. Everyone is in a hurry. But don’t you want people to be patient with you. I want to stop, breathe, listen, and offer patience when I have to wait.

“Some of your greatest blessings come with patience.” ~Watten Wiersbe

8. Be Generous

This is another hard one, especially for those who are doing their best to simply survive. Yet, when I see stories about homeless people sharing the little bit they have or the widow who gave her last few pennies in Scripture I’m inspired to do a better job of seeing needs and doing all I can to meet them.

The generous will prosper; those who refresh others will themselves be refreshed. Proverbs 11:25

9. Be Humble

Yeah, that! Remember “humility isn’t thinking less of yourself it’s thinking of yourself less.” (Rick Warren) I’m challenging myself to love others so well I don’t have time to worry myself.

The humble will see their God at work and be glad. Let all who seek God’s help be encouraged. Psalm 69:32

How would your life be different if you committed to living the Golden Rule life? If everyone lived it? Here are some things you can do to inspire change...

10. Be Encouraging

Find something good in everyone and tell them. I have a rule . . . if I think something nice about someone I need to let them know.

“A word of encouragement during a failure is worth more than an hour of praise after success.” ~Author Unknown

11. Be Compassionate

I think compassion sums up the Golden Rule. Compassion offers forgiveness, sympathy, and tenderness. It is the feeling that unites as people who not only need one another but who want to help.

“To keep the Golden Rule we must put ourselves in other people’s places, but to do that consists in and depends upon picturing ourselves in their places.” ~Harry Emerson Fosdick

12. Be Loving

Loved. Don’t you want to be loved?! There is a quote that says, “If you want to have a friend, be one.” God loves us and created us to love Him and each other. That’s “golden” loving.

“Do to others what you would have them do to you.”

But it’s easier to “do unto others,” when they’re like us and love us. It’s easier when we love them. When “others” means everyone it’s hard. Honestly, it sometimes feels impossible.

Just look at the divisions in our world today. Wow, we need The Golden Rule again, don’t we?

So, I’m wondering if you might join me in a little personal assessment.

What would it mean to your relationships with    (add any name)   , if you committed to living The Golden Rule Life?

To your: spouse, your ex, your children, brothers, sisters, parents, coworkers, friends, or neighbors, etc.

To the: salesperson, server, teacher, pastor, church visitor, or political leader, etc.

To the: homeless, lost, hurting, broken, or dirty, etc.

What if you and I committed to stop waiting for the other person to go first?
What if we promised to start every day looking out instead of in?
What if we made a covenant to initiate kindness, compassion, forgiveness, and encouragement?

What do you think? Are you in?

You. Me. Our families.

Let’s start there.

Committed . . . promising to love others by living a Golden Rule life.

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  1. Matthew 7:12 is one of those verses I feel like we all agree on, but it’s so hard to live it out among the day to day realities and personalities we have to deal with. This post is a great reminder to stay authentic and take the Golden Rule and God’s Word a bit more seriously!! <3

    1. You’re right, Lauren! It’s hard to respond with the Golden Rule when we’re confronted by those who don’t live it. And in all honestly, it’s not just a response issue . . . I need to do better at leading with kindness. Once again, writing what I need. Thanks for visiting and for being willing to admit the challenge. Blessings and big hugs!!

  2. I’m in! Thanks for reminding me Deb. I will do my best to remember the Golden Rule even when it’s hard. God’s help will definitely be needed then. Have a great day 🙂

    1. I agree, Lynn! Definitely can’t love well without God’s help. Human nature wants to elevate self. Thanks for taking the challenge with me. God bless you!

  3. I love everything on your To-Be List! I always enjoy your writing and I’ll pray to BE all God desires today –I need all His help to live “golden.”

    1. Thank you, Sue! I so appreciate your kind encouragement. God’s blessings!!

  4. I’m in, Deb! No, it’s not easy at times as it is human nature to put our needs first ahead of others. I just returned from a road trip with my granddaughter, Virginia, to visit two overnights with my Mom. Wow! If children can’t teach you so much about unconditional love and how to live it out, I don’t know what can. I’ve already planned some future blog posts depicting this phenomenon. No wonder Jesus told us we must become as little children to enter God’s kingdom!
    Blessings, my friend, and thank you for your inspiration today!

    1. Martha, I can’t wait to read about your trip with your granddaughter. I’m getting some grandson time this week. You’re right, they can teach us so much about loving well. Thank you, Martha! Blessings and hugs!

  5. Deb- I think this idea is perfect! It’s something that I hope I do daily without even thinking about it, but I’m going to think about this and do it on purpose! Thank you for the gentle nudge and reminder!

    1. I’m with you, Shannon. I’d like to think I live by the Golden Rule, but being extra mindful will be good for me. Blessings to you. Hugs!!

  6. Very practical advice, Deb. So pertinent in our divisive culture. I’m sharing this on my author FB page on Friday evening. Blessings to you!

  7. Matthew 7:12 is a verse we all know but do we really live it out? Such good, practical (some simple and others more challenging) advice you lead us to here Deb. Love this! And most importantly love YOU and your heart to encourage women. 🙂 xoxo

  8. Love this list! My two biggest struggles are being present and being patient. They both have to do with the busy factor. It’s a beast I’m always working to control!

    Much love,

  9. This is really good stuff. I wrote 31 Days on Living the Golden Rule in October 2016. I would love your feedback.