I recently watched 7 hours of DEI video training sessions as a requirement for work. Now while this is a necessary endeavor in our world today, I found them lacking in riveting content. There were nuggets of truth along the way that gave me better insight, but a common theme that I noticed was the dismissal of the Golden Rule which at once sent up a red flag in the ‘man’s way of thinking versus God’s ultimate authority’ section of my brain.
You are probably familiar with it but in case you need a reminder, Jesus stated, “whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them” or “do to others as you would like them to do to you” (emphasis mine), (Matt. 7:12; Luke 6:31, ESV). This has become known as the golden rule. I have heard that interpreted as thinking of something you wish someone would do for you and taking the initiative and doing it for them.
The platinum rule, which I had never heard before, states that we should treat others the way ‘they want to be treated.’ This stood out to me like a sore thumb. I began to research where it originated. I first found credit given to Dave Kerpen, who wrote it in his book, The Art of People in 2016. But then I found another source who credited Tony Alessandra and Michael O’Conner in a 1996 publication of their book by the very title, The Platinum Rule.
I began to pray for discernment and search Scriptures for God’s truth on the matter because frankly, anything that tries to dismiss the Word of God does not sit well with me. When reading the verses in the Bible, we must also look at the verses before and after, not just pull one verse out as a stand-alone. When you read the pre-cursor and what follows, we find that love is the most crucial factor to the equation. Treating people, the way we want to be treated comes from a place of love, which should come naturally to those believers who love God with all their hearts, minds, and souls and who love their neighbor as themselves (Luke 10:27). We must go beyond this one verse to realize the lesson is love; a fundamental ethic that governs all behavior (Rom. 12:14-21). Jesus is our model through His self-sacrificial love for others.
If people’s priorities are out of order, then they may need a different guide, such as the man-made platinum rule, to know how to treat others. But if we are in alignment with God, it will come naturally to treat others with love. I read a list Mr. Kerpen wrote that included 101 things for which he was grateful. I am not putting him down and am happy that he is grateful for so many things including God, but it did reveal where his priorities lie as God made the list at number 55. According to his list, even the sun and planet made the # 2 slot. My question is, who created the sun and planet? Even the Mets made it on the list above God at # 26.
If we are not loving God more than anything else, and loving people as ourselves, then maybe we can accept the platinum rule. But not all of us are in that category. Instead of dismissing one over the other, it could be an ‘AND’ instead of a ‘either/or” concept. Although the platinum rule is not biblical, and Jesus’ own words are conclusive and attribute to the Golden Rule; there could be one rule for believers who follow Christ and one for the secular population who haven’t experienced the love of Christ or understand how to love others as Christ’s example tells us to even love our enemies as ourselves.
But in my book, there is only one set of rules, One God, One authority, and One Word, but man will always attempt to make his own rules to suit himself when he doesn’t understand or accept God’s rule and authority.
I believe we can use this filter to decide the best way to treat others: Ask ourselves if it is God-honoring to both parties? Are we seeking the approval of man or God (Gal. 1:19)? Love is the key factor, and the Golden Rule demonstrates this best since we have Christ to model it after and can share the love that God bestows on us to everyone we meet.
In all fairness, I do not know these authors, nor have I read their books. I am only using the tiny bit of information I netted in my search as a basis for my comments. You could say I literally judged a book by its cover. However, the point I want to make is that we should not be so quick to dismiss God’s Word, especially those spoken directly by Jesus, for something fabricated by man. I read that book daily.