The Sum of the Law

In everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.
Matthew 7:12

What could be more clear and concise than the truth stated in this verse? But the
world won’t let us reflect on these words. Our sinful nature won’t let us measure
our lives against this standard. We let this verse go in one ear and out the other.
If we would continually compare our lives and actions against this standard, we wouldn’t
live so carelessly. We would have more than enough to do and wouldn’t need to pursue
other works we consider holy. We would become our own teachers and begin teaching
ourselves how we should live. We wouldn’t need so many lawyers and law books, for
this standard is concise and easy to learn. If only we were diligent and serious enough
to live according to it!

Let me give a rough illustration. No one would like to be robbed. If you ask yourself,
you would have to admit that you certainly wouldn’t enjoy it. So why don’t you conclude
that everyone else feels the same way? At the market, you see that vendors charge
as much as they wish for what they’re selling, so that it costs three times what it
is worth. If you were to ask a vendor, “Excuse me, would you like this done to you?”
he would have difficulty replying. If he were honest and thinking sensibly, he would
have to say, “I want to pay the market value, what is just and fair. I don’t want
to be overcharged.” So do you see the point? Your heart tells you how you would like
to be treated, and your conscience tells you that you should treat others the same

– “Faith Alone: A Daily Devotional” by Martin Luther

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