Back to the basics

Photo of Robin Harris Kimbrough

Dr. Robin Harris Kimbrough

One of the first concepts we learn in math is addition. Addition is a fundamental concept in math upon which more complicated operations are built. Math builds on concepts, and without the basic knowledge of rules and equations, learning the advanced topics would prove to be a struggle and almost impossible to learn. Our Christian journey is very similar.

There are basic concepts that we need to learn and master before moving on to more advanced topics on our spiritual walk. As we move forward in learning and maturing in God, we often forget about the basics, and we end up in a situation in which we need to know them. In Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount, Jesus provides the basics of Christian living. One of the basic concepts he teaches is love, and how to treat one another.

One of those basic rules that we need to get back is the Golden Rule—doing unto others as we would have them do unto us: “Therefore, whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets,” Matthew 7:12. If we as God’s children could get back to this basic rule of living, we would be able to approach more advanced issues with less complicated methods. Jesus gave us the foundation of Christian living—treat people like you want to be treated. Unfortunately, we live in times where people treat people like they are treated. This results in a cycle of anger, unforgiveness, disunity, and unproductivity in the Kingdom of God.

We need to get back to the basics. We need to get back to simple ideas like love, forgiveness, and compassion—because everything else builds upon these blocks. As Jesus said, it sums up the Law and the Prophets. All of us have an expectation of being treated in a loving and respectful manner. All of us want to be forgiven, access to healthcare, and the opportunity to obtain a quality education. Those of us who have the resources to make sure that everyone has the same type of necessities afforded to them should make sure that they are following the Golden Rule. We need to get back to the basics. How many of us have gone off on someone because they went off on us? How many of us have refused to help someone move or give them a ride, because it was out of our way? How many of us have left the waiter a less than five percent tip? How many of us have ignored someone in need? We need to get back to the basics, and ask ourselves how we would want to be treated, and give that same treatment to someone else.

Instead of giving someone what we think they deserve, we need to give them what we think we deserve. Rather than responding to our instinctive reaction to make someone hurt like we hurt or withholding resources from someone we feel does not deserve them, we need to get back to the basics, doing unto others as we would like to have done unto us. If we get back to the basics, we will end world hunger; everyone would have access to healthcare; and we would not have police indicted for murdering innocent citizens. Let’s get back to the basics.