Matthew 7:12 says, “Therefore, whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.”
Recently, I have noticed that we often refer to this command of our Lord in the negative. For example, if my daughter is doing something to her little brother that is unkind, I typically say, “Now, Adi, you know that you wouldn’t like it if Roman did that to you. So, you shouldn’t do it to him.” To illustrate this further, let me re-write the Golden Rule according to what my conversation with Adi implies: “Therefore, whatever you don’t want men to do to you, don’t do to them…”
Now, I am not suggesting that it is incorrect to apply the Golden Rule in the negative. In fact, it is certainly right that we ought not to do to others what we do not want them to do to us. However, our Lord says that we ought to DO to others as we would have them DO to us. That means that if I want other people to acknowledge me when I am speaking, I ought to acknowledge them when they are speaking. It means that if I want my daughter to say please and thank you for the things that she needs or wants, then I ought to model that for her in asking her politely for the things that I need and want. As a further example, if I want others to take care of my things well, I ought to take care of theirs well – and so on.
Thus, my earnest desire is that as a school we would be a people who DO good as well as and more than not doing badly. Our Lord wants us to be advancing His kingdom by DOING more than the world, not just by not doing what the world is doing (Matthew 5:47). Of course, this is not the basis of our righteousness before God – praise the Lord that it is not! Instead, this is part of what it is to be building a Paideia or culture of God for His glory and our joy in Him (Ephesians 6:4).