We lived in a townhouse in Michigan, and all the townhouses backed up into a playground area for all the kids. I remember standing at the back window, doing dishes at the kitchen sink. The boys were playing out back with some other kids. I looked up to see Kyle running after another boy. And, when he catches up with him, Kyle hauls off and punches this other boy hard. Who of course starts to cry. And I of course open the window and yell "Kyle Micah, get in here this minute!" When he gets in the house I say "why on earth did you hit that boy?" to which he answers "he hit Zachy first, so I hit him." (Kyle may have gotten in trouble quite a bit, but, he was always honest, even if it would get him in trouble.) So, I told him it was nice of him to care about his little brother, and want to protect him and stick up for him, but, just because someone mistreats you or someone you love, doesn't mean you can treat them the same way.
And Kyle looked up at me with those big blue eyes and said "Uh huh Mommy, my teacher at church said that it says in the Bible 'Do to others what they do to you!'" (So, my good little boy thought he was just obeying the Bible! Isn't that sweet? Right!) So, I had to explain to him that that's not exactly what the Bible says. What it really says is that we should treat other people the way we would want them to treat us. The Golden Rule. (Matthew 7:12)
How many of us at some point in our lives wish we had had a Sunday School teacher that told us we could do back to other people what they did to us?! (And I'm sure his teacher said it the right way, and he just misunderstood, I'm just trying to make a point.) That anytime someone hurt us or mistreated us, or someone we love, we could just lash out at them and give it right back! Do to others what they do to you! After all that's what they deserve, right? But, unfortunately it doesn't work that way. We're to treat people, weather they deserve it or not, (because none of us really deserve it!) the way we would want others to treat us. And how do we want others to treat us? With respect, acceptance, admiration, love, non-judgment, (this could be a really long list.) But, it can be very hard to do sometimes.
I know this is a fun, cute little story, but it's actually when one of my kids taught me a valuable life lesson, that I've tried to hang on to through the years. Because unfortunately, I've needed a reminder from time to time, just like he has.