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What Omar Needs to Learn From Jesus!

"The Golden Rule" is found in Matthew 7:12 - "Therefore, whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets." You may have heard this verse paraphrased this way: "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you." People put all kinds of verbal twists on Jesus' words. For instance, someone said, "Do unto others; then split." Others say, "Do unto others before they do unto you." Mr. T. of A-Team (tv) and Rocky (movie) fame spoke for many — "I believe in the Golden Rule — the Man with the Gold rules." Perhaps the most-practiced twist on Jesus' words could be said this way: "Do unto others what they do to you." That's the rule Omar Khalid Khurasani lives by. Maybe you've heard of Omar, or maybe not. Earlier this year, Omar, a spokesman for the Pakistani Taliban, was quoted in TIME magazine (March 3, 2014) after he and his Taliban brethren took responsibility for killing twenty-three paramilitary soldiers in Pakistan as a response to the Pakistani government's supposed execution of Taliban prisoners. In explaining the Taliban's deadly actions Omar announced proudly: "We want to make it clear . . . that we know how to take revenge." Not only Omar, and not only in Pakistan. Twenty-two year-old California college student Elliot Rodger was not in the Taliban, but he lived by the same rule as Omar. Recently (Friday night 5/23/14) the 22 year old California college student went on a rampage that left six others and himself dead and as many others injured in Isla Vista, California. He left a video and a so-called "manifesto" explaining why he hoped to kill as many people as possible. He was angered, he said, because girls ignored him and wouldn't have a sexual relationship with him. So, he decided, they had to die. People like Omar and Rodger are extreme cases of life's most terrible rule — the iron rule that says might makes right. But less extreme cases of doing to others as they do to us are commonplace. It happens between people in schools, homes, offices, workplaces, and churches every day. And it hurts and even destroys marriages and families and friendships and other kinds of human relationships.

Preacher John Gipson told about an elderly man who was harassed by the taunts of children in his neighborhood. Instead of yelling back or just ignoring them, the man offered the children a dollar if they would return the next day and yell their insults. They did so, and received their money. Then he told them the next day he would give them a quarter for a repeat performance. Again they did so and he paid them. Then he told the children the pay the next day would be just a penny. They shrugged him off and said, "Forget it. It's not worth it." That old man found a different way to deal with those who hurt him. Jesus did too, by means of the Golden Rule. He preached and practiced thus rule. With spit on His face, nails through His hands and feet, and with love in His heart Jesus prayed on the cross for those killing Him —"Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do" (Luke 23:34). Jesus didn't allow hatred to dictate and control His treatment of people. He treated others the way He wanted to be treated, not in the hateful, harmful way they treated Him. That's what Omar needs to learn from Jesus, along with many of us.

Dan Gulley
Smithville church of Christ