So whatever you wish others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the law and the prophets.-Matthew 7:12
This verse stirred something in me today. I was thinking about how many Christians, myself included, often respond to sin. We see sins in people around us, even if we don't know them, and feel compelled to comment. This seems particularly true of certain sins, such as homosexuality. It appears that a common public response is something along the lines of "well...sinners should stop sinning, so stop sinning, sinners." We do not seek to understand, only condemn sin.
It's interesting that the golden rule above follows on the heels of another well known passage, reminding us to remove the plank from our own eye so that we can see to remove the speck from our brother's. Jesus is reminding us that we all are sinful, and when we confront one another's sins, we must be aware of and confessing our own sin.
Contrary to popular belief, I do not believe Jesus was telling us to not deal with each others sins. I believe we are called to do so. However, what I think Matthew 7:12 makes clear is that we must respond to others the way we want them to respond to us. So what does that look like?
I think it involves an honest appraisal of your own status before God, as sanctified sinner. There has to be a recognition that apart from God's free grace, every one of us stands condemned. Then, I think we must move toward another in love, keeping in remembrance that His free grace is available to all. If we want to be able to speak into someone's life, there has to be a genuine desire for relationship. We also should have a vision for who someone might become through the work of the Holy Spirit, which is something Dr Crabb talked about. Without vision, we simply become judgmental moralists.
We all heard the golden rule as kids; perhaps its time that we look at it with fresh eyes.