Challenging hypocrisy with the Golden Rule

A Golden Rule for Lent and for Life…

Today’s Lent reflection is from Ruth who is the manager of a Sheltered Housing Project for the Elderly in the St Chrysostom’s Parish.

Ruth is commenting on the Gospel reading for the Thursday of the First Week of Lent: Matthew 7.7-12

She says “To be honest these words at first leave me cold and numb, and whilst I realise that they may be of encouragement I find them bland.

I often think of the Bible, and teaching from it, that it contains guidelines to live a good life by – I don’t see it as a set of rules to be followed implicitly. While I recognise that others have faith, I have difficulty in accepting it for myself. My head won’t let me just simply and unquestioningly accept.

The world has so many issues and problems, and I fear that many of them are because of religion, These words of Jesus seem so simple – yet as we know people ask many things in prayer and don’t receive them, the starving pray for food but go hungry. If only employers’ doors opened to the knock of the unemployed.

I know that I sound cynical, and Fr Chris and I have known and talked with one another for many years. My cynical outlook makes me see the hypocrisy of religions, and their conflicting theories which cause war and fighting.

I love the Bible, and its many stories – and I loved RE at school. For me the most important line is not about asking and receiving, or seeking and finding – its in that last line

In everything do to others as you would have them do to you

Faith is something which should bring comfort, life and goodness to the believer – but, also to those who they meet and talk with – it should make a difference. If only folk would see what unites them rather than divides them”

Fr Chris adds: Ruth gives us much to think about and I am grateful for her honesty in talking to me.

About stchrysostoms

St Chrysostom’s is an Anglican (Church of England) parish church in Manchester, UK. We’re an inclusive, diverse and welcoming faith community rejoicing in our Anglo Catholic tradition, where people of many differing backgrounds make friends. Find our Facebook group at
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