Summary: The most basic footwear of life is mutual love for one another.
"Ah, thank you," he said, with embarrassment, "but you don’t understand. It just isn’t being done. The front families, well, that is just it. Why don’t we?"
And coming out of the city of Everywhere, over and over and over that question rang in my ears; "Why don’t we? Why don’t we? Why don’t we?"
The parable of the Barefoot Christians was written more than a hundred years ago by an English Preacher named Hugh Price Hughes. The city of Everywhere could be New York, London, St. Louis, Paris, or Baghdad!
It’s any place in the world where people know the most basic, obvious ways of living in right relationship with one another - yet they refuse to do it!
The shoes on our feet are to be the good news of peace (Ephesians 6:15), yet we go barefoot.
The most basic footwear of life is mutual love for one another. The law of mutual love - some have termed "the law of reciprocity," - but from the Bible we simply know it as "The Golden Rule." "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you." "Act toward your neighbor as you would want your neighbor to act toward you."
"Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them." This is the principle on which you should operate. "THEREFORE" is the most important word in the Golden Rule. It relates the Golden Rule to everything that precedes it. That is, it hinges on the rest of the sermon and on prayer. It all comes together in one package. Don’t lift out the Golden Rule and say that you live by it. Understand what the Lord is talking about. Only as we obey the rest of the command and prohibitions of the sermon, only as we "ask, seek, and knock" are we able to live in the light of the Golden Rule.
This is probably the most universally famous thing that Jesus ever said. With this commandment the Sermon on the Mount reaches its summit. This saying of Jesus has been called "the capstone of the whole discourse." It is the topmost peak of social ethics, and the Everest of all ethical teachings.
It sums up all the MORAL and ETHICAL requirements of men and women who live in society as KINGDOM CITIZENS. This law of Jesus DEMANDS a standard of conduct that far surpasses what the world normally expects. The gift of the Holy Spirit, which all believers possess, allows us to experience a FULLNESS of life that requires us to love one another as God through Jesus Christ has loved us!
Harry Stack Sullivan once said, "The goal of adult love is to arrive at a point, where another’s safety and security are as important as one’s own. The goal of Christian spirituality is to come to the place where our neighbor’s needs and welfare are as high a concern as our own wants and wishes. All these are contained in the words we call "The Golden Rule."
"Treat other people exactly as you would like to be treated by them - this is the essence of all true religion." The newness, the uniqueness of this positive rule of life given by Christ lies in the exhortation (encouragement) to ACT LOVINGLY, to do the THOUGHTFUL, to be CONSIDERATE, to do the SYMPATHETIC thing.