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“Do to others whatever you would like them to do to you” (Matt. 7:12, NLT).

The golden rule. When I was younger, I interpreted this verse a bit differently than most. Whenever my sister was unkind to me, I would be mean to her in return. Then I would try to justify my behavior: “Treat others the way they treat you!”

The intended meaning of the golden rule, however, is to put yourself in someone else’s shoes. How would you want to be treated if the roles were reversed? I know I’d prefer to be treated with love and respect.

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“For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord. They are plans for good and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. In those days when you pray, I will listen” (Jer. 29:11–12, TLB).

Sometimes God amazes us with how He reveals His plans. In 1978, I was almost finished with my Elementary Education major at Walla Walla College (Wash.). It was time to think about where I wanted to teach. My parents had moved back to California and wanted me to be closer to them, but I wasn’t sure I wanted to move there. With graduation looming on the horizon, I needed to start seriously thinking about teaching positions.

“The angel of the Lord encamps all around those who fear Him, and delivers them” (Ps. 34:7, NKJV).

This verse is so powerful because it reminds us that God is always ready to deliver us, and that we have no reason to be afraid. In my personal experience, I found Psalms 34:7 to be true.

A few years ago, my house caught on fire. My family was at church when it happened, so luckily no one was injured. One of our friends, however, was living with us at the time. She stayed home that Sabbath to watch a couple of baby birds we had found the day before.

“But as for me, I will sing of Your strength; Yes, I shall joyfully sing of Your faithfulness in the morning, for You have been my refuge and a place of refuge on the day of my distress” (Ps. 59:16, NASB).

This verse outlines the many problems, mountainous difficulties, troubling times and numerous enemies that were surrounding David on every side. David opened up his heart to the Lord, and his urgent prayer for help and deliverance poured forth unabated. This surrender of heart has also worked in my life.