Luke wrote of a lawyer that stood up to put Jesus “to the test” (Luke 10: 25). The Master
Debater led the lawyer to answer his own question by quoting Deuteronomy 6:2. The lawyer
“desired to justify himself” by asking the question, “ And who is my neighbor?” (Luke 10:29).
Christ told the parable of the Good Samaritan and exposed three philosophies that affected how
the traveler was treated (Luke 10: 30-37). How we think determines how we act. As Solomon
wrote, “Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life” (Proverbs 4:23).
The Iron Rule is the thought that “might makes right.” Whatever a person is big and strong
enough to do, he can do. It might be more commonly recognized as survival of the fittest. Many
leaders in history have applied this philosophy such as Sennacherib (2 Kings 18-19), Alexander
the Great, Julius Caesar, and even modern leaders like Stalin, Hitler, and Mussolini.
This rule is practiced today, though very few openly advocate this practice. Many put into
practice under the guise of “looking out for number one,” “getting what I deserve,” or chalking

it up to a “dog eat dog world.” The corruption of this world can often be attributed to this mind-
set. The robbers in this parable took advantage of a helpless man; much like corrupt employers

take advantage of honest employees, dishonest employees steal from gracious employers, or
whatever reason one will use to gain an advantage by putting someone else at a disadvantage.
Paul wrote, “Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I
am to be content” (Philippians 4:11).
The Silver Rule is the thought that as long as one does nothing bad, everything is good.
Yes, this rule is better than the Iron Rule, but it is still not good enough. It is usually quotes as
the negative of the golden rule - Do not do to others what you do not want them to do to you. 

This is seen often today on T.V. and social media clips; where an indi-
vidual is being attacked and bystanders sit by idly and do nothing. In 1964,

Catherine Genovese was murdered in cold blood outside of her apartment,
and thirty-eight fellow residents admitted to police that they witnessed at
least part of the attack! Yet no one called the police or came to her aid until
after she was already dead.
This is the principle that surmises “it is not my problem,” “no skin off
my teeth,” or “I don’t want to meddle.” While we should not be intrusive
into other’s lives - when we know there is an issue, we should be willing to
help in whatever way we can. The principle James laid forth is still valid;
“So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is
sin” (James 4:17).
This rule is the rule Jesus adopted and commands Christians to adopt -
treat others how you want to be treated. This requires a selfless attitude, a
desire to be a neighbor, and a mindset to give to others rather than looking
at what is owed to us.
This philosophy does not ask “what is in it for me?” It simply asks,
“What can I do for you.” It is easy to say, harder to practice, but it holds the
greatest benefits - today and for eternity. Paul wrote, “ So then, as we have
opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of
the household of faith” (Galatians 6:10). Let this be our mindset. God Bless.

- Josh Walker