Armodoxy for Today
Repayment – Daily Message
Jesus instructs, “Do unto others as you would want them to do unto you” (Matthew 7:12). This is often called The Golden Rule. Social psychologists categorize this rule under the principle of reciprocity, that is, in different social situations we pay back what we received from others. In other words, if someone does you a favor, you’re likely to do a favor in return. It’s common for organizations to send a gift – labels, calendars, cards, etc. – with an envelope expecting that the principle of reciprocity will kick in and you’ll send back a donation.
In Armodoxy, our actions are not based on the actions of others. We are called to give and share our God given talents without expecting in return. The Golden Rule is a proactive rule for conduct, but in terms of repayment, Jesus points to a hirer rule when he says, “Love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you…” (Matthew 6:44).
The higher expectation is in fulfillment of Christ’s invitation and challenge to, “Be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect” (Matthew 6:48). In fact, to repay goodness with goodness is only human. To repay goodness with evil, is diabolic. But to repay evil with goodness, is divine.
So much of our life is built as a reaction to the actions of others. The challenge is to live proactively, not waiting for repayment, but doing what is good and the way we would expect others to treat us.
Let us pray from the Book of Hours of the Armenian Church, “Receive, O God, these prayers and our service. Make Your light of righteousness and wisdom shine forth upon us and make us children of light and of day, so that in godliness we may lead our life and fulfil it without offence, for you are our helper and Savior and to you is befitting glory and honor. Amen.