The Platinum Rule

Most of live in “scorecard living.”  If someone takes something from us, we want it back.  If someone says something mean, we want to say something mean to them.  Jesus invites us to a better way of living.


Morning.  David Sorn.  Lead pastor here at Renovation Church. 
Before we get started this morning, I want to call up on stage some dear friends of ours: Karl & Chelsea Hengeveld 
I’ve mentioned to you all before that we have a heart not only to send out our people to our church plants, but in to full-time missions. 
Chelsea has been our first Renovation attender (and so far only person) we’ve sent out into full-time missions. 
Chelsea felt the call to missionary work with Cru (formally campus crusade). 
In the years since, she has married an awesome guy named Karl and they now have a son, Titus. 
They are in town this week, so we wanted to have them up here and update you a little bit on their life. 
FIRST:  Could you each just very briefly tell us what your role is with CRU. 

#2: Chelsea, where have you really seen God move past last year? 

#3:  Karl, why is the Jesus Film so effective in sharing the Gospel overseas? 

#4: Why would someone consider financially supporting someone in full-time missions? 

As a church, we have been financial supporters of Chelsea (and now Karl as well) for the past 5 years! 
And I want to tell you, personally, that I really admire them…and their work. 
They are in need of even more financial support to continue to what they do well…
And so if you’re feeling led this morning to become one of their supporters, I encourage you to stop by their table in the hallway and connect with them.  Or even just to get more information. 
All right, thanks guys, you can have a seat. 

Listen, this is a church that cares immensely about reaching people for Christ. 
We want to support reaching them around the world through things like the Jesus Film…
We want to reach more and more people by planting churches…as we’re starting our 4th church in Mounds View in November. 
And we want to reach people…right here…in our neighborhood.  
(put up Family Fun Day slide)  
So on September 23rd, we’ll be doing a huge outreach event called Family Fun Day 
This is an event that we’ve been doing for a few years that has been incredibly fruitful for us. 
We’ll have a row of food trucks, a field of inflatables, face painting, games, you name it. 
But in order to get a ticket to do all of that, we require people to attend the service first…and we tell them about Jesus…and the Gospel. 
Last year we had over 600 visitors at our services that Sunday!  600! 
And we had 34 people make first-time commitments to Christ!
If you were at the baptism last month, you heard some powerful stories of people who came to Christ on Family Fun Day!
But to do this event…to host 600-800 visitors, to put on 4 services, to put on a massive, highly-functioning event outside, it takes, not only 208 volunteers inside to do our services, but an ADDITIONAL 102 volunteers to pull off the event outside. 
We need you that day. 
Your work is so important.  It will change lives. 
I want a number of you to consider even serving all day that day. 
Or for most of it. 
I guarantee you there isn’t a more world-changing, eternity-changing thing you can do with your life that day. 
You’ll hear a bit more about this in announcements, but we need to get into our passage. 

We are continuing right along in the Book of Luke. 
(put up Platinum Rule slide)
(Page 837)
(Renovation App) 
This entire section we’re in is about as counter-cultural as you can get
Last week we had “blessed are the poor” and “woe to the rich” 
And this is week is “love your enemies”
Let’s dive in
(Luke 6:27-36) – NIV 
27 “But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you,28 bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. 29 If someone slaps you on one cheek, turn to them the other also. If someone takes your coat, do not withhold your shirt from them. 30 Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. 31 Do to others as you would have them do to you.
32 “If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them. 33 And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners do that. 34 And if you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, expecting to be repaid in full. 35 But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. 36 Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.

Jesus gives, what many Americans might label, “upside-down advice,’ on a number of things in this passage, so let’s try and split this up into a few different categories. 
And let’s start with this whole idea of lending to others. 
He says, “give to everyone who asks…” 
And basically says: “If you lent someone in need a hundred dollars last year…and they haven’t paid you back, don’t demand it back”  
I want you to see that the way Jesus wants us to live is almost completely antithetical to how most of us prefer to live. 
Most of us live by what I would call “Scorecard Living” 
If someone takes from you, you need it back. 
Now we’re even. 
If someone points out a fault of yours, you point out a fault of theirs. 
Now…we’re even. 
This is how many of us operate at work, in our friendships, and even in our marriages. 
So let’s contrast these two ways of living in this category of lending to others 
Scorecard Living: You take from me, I demand it back 
Christian Living: You take from me, I give you more
(that was…if they take your coat, give them your shirt too!) 
We haven’t even gotten to the difficult categories yet, and most of us already feel uncomfortable with this. 
We live in a society that is overly obsessed with fairness, which is part of why this passage is difficult for us as a people. 
If you do a ton of work for your spouse…and you clean the whole house…
Most of us, sort expect repayment.  That the scorecard would be made even. 
Now you do the laundry while I watch the Vikings game…Amen? ☺  
And Jesus is saying, “Nope.  That’s scorecard living…not Christian living.   
We give and don’t ask for repayment.” 
And if they need our help again, and they haven’t paid us back yet… we still give more
And by doing so, the world will see that we’re different 
When Missionary Henry Richards first brought the Gospel to the Congo in Africa, he was tested in this principle. 
Each day he would translate and explain 10 verses from the book of Luke. 
When he came to the chapter we’re in, he hesitated, because most of his followers were extremely poor, and might misunderstand this verse on giving and taking. 
He said that Jesus’ words illustrate a principle and had to be interpreted in the light of other Scriptures about living in community with each other.  
But ignoring that, they quickly asked for almost everything Richards owned. 
Without hesitation he gave them what they requested. 
Soon, his most cherished possessions were all in their hands. 
After talking among themselves, the people concluded that Mr. Richards was truly a man of God, for they had never seen anyone so self-sacrificing. 
One by one they came and returned what he had given them. 
Because of his willingness to give up everything, his work bore much fruit for Christ in the Congo . 
But listen, people won’t notice us if we only live out the Bible when it’s easy. 
But they will when we’re true to Jesus’ word when it’s hard.  

Let’s look at the next category of Jesus’ upside-down teaching (or, we should probably say, right-side up ☺ ) 
Look at verse 28: 
(Luke 6:28) – NIV 
28 bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.  
And he even gives his famous teaching on “If someone slaps you, turn the other cheek to them as well”   
Again, this is different type of living:   
Scorecard Living: You take from me, I demand it back 
Christian Living: You take from me, I give you more

Scorecard Living: They curse you, you curse them
Christian Living: They curse you, you bless them.  

Scorecard Living: They mistreat you, you mistreat them. 
Christian Living: They mistreat you, you pray for them. 
Let me ask you: Who is it that is mistreating you in your life right now? 
And if you can’t think of an “enemy” per se, then what about people in your life that are hard to love?  Who is that? 
Any family members who are constantly bringing down the quality of your life? 
How about a co-worker who’s abrasive or stresses you out?
Or even a neighbor?  
And before I go any further with how to treat those people, let me give another qualifier to this.  
Because some of you are going, “This all sounds like weakness.  This sounds wrong. It sounds like we’re supposed to just let people walk all over us” 
I don’t believe that’s what Jesus is saying when we look at all of Scripture together. 
Jesus is not saying in this passage, “Let people walk all over you,” and a few pages further in the Bible saying, “Justice is important” 
So how do we reconcile the two? 
I believe that Jesus calls us to have a disposition of grace and forgiveness but to also speak up for truth. 
Ephesians 4:15 calls us as Christians to “Speak the truth IN LOVE”  
So, for example: if your spouse continues to bring up negative things about you in conversation… 
Scorecard living says, “Well, let me remind you of the time when you…” (we all fall into this, right?) 
But Christian living, as described in this passage, doesn’t stoop to “scorecard living.” 
But it doesn’t stand there like a sad puppy with his tail between his legs either
That’s where you can speak the “truth in love,” “Baby listen, I don’t want to get into scorecard living because it’ll never end…our lists are too long” ☺ 
I love you.  I’m sorry. What can I do to make this better?”
And scorecard living never gets us the result we want 
When I was in high school, before I was a believer…one of my life mottos I used to share with people was:  “I can’t make you cry with my fists, but I can make you cry with my words” 
If people said anything about me, or did anything to me…I would immediately begin scheming about how I could hurt them back. 
Whether that meant lying about them, gossiping about them, or embarrassing them in public.  
But it never worked.  Ever. 
Why?  Because it just made them more mad…and they would do something back to me. 
Many of you in this room still carry hurts and grudges today from things that were done to you, or said about you, in high school 
And it’s because most of us, back then, we’re living in scorecard living. 
And I know some of you are thinking back to people who’ve hurt you, and you’re thinking, “I didn’t DO anything back though!” 
And yet, notice, in every Christian Living line we’ve shown, the Christian responds with a positive action. 
Jesus doesn’t say, “They curse you, you do nothing.” (That’s getting WALKED on!) 
No, they curse, we bless. 
They mistreat, we pray. 
They hate, we love. 
Look at how this is different: 
Scorecard Living: You take from me, I demand it back 
Christian Living: You take from me, I give you more

Scorecard Living: They curse you, you curse them
Christian Living: They curse you, you bless them.  

Scorecard Living: They mistreat you, you mistreat them. 
Christian Living: They mistreat you, you pray for them. 

Scorecard Living: A bad thing + a bad thing = Makes things right 
Christian Living: A bad thing + good thing = Live in peace  
I’ll explain the live in peace part in a minute 
You can’t fix a broken relationship by breaking it some more. 
This is why the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. was so effective in living out the teachings of Jesus.  He once said: 
“Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that.” – Martin Luther King Jr. 
I remember hearing a story once about former Boston Red Sox Hall-of-Famer Wade Boggs. 
Boggs used to hate going to Yankee Stadium. 
Not because of the Yankees—but because of one particular fan.
The guy had a seat close to the field, and when the Red Sox were in town he would absolutely torment Boggs by shouting obscenities and insults. 
It's hard to imagine one fan getting under a player's skin, but apparently this guy had the recipe. 
One day before the game, as Boggs was warming up, the fan began his typical tirade, yelling at Boggs. 
Boggs decided he'd had enough. 
He walked directly over to the man, who was sitting in the stands with his friends, and said, "Hey, are you the guy who's always yelling at me?" The man said, "Yeah, it's me. What are you going to do about it?"
Boggs took a brand-new baseball out of his pocket, autographed it, tossed it to the man, and went back to the field to continue his pre-game routine.
The man never yelled at Boggs again; in fact, he became one of Wade's biggest fans at Yankee Stadium.
This is what Jesus is teaching: 
A bad thing + another bad thing is never going to make anything right. 
But blessing those who curse you…that might just actually work. 
The apostle Paul also gives this recipe in his letter to the Romans. 
(Romans 12:17-21) – NIV 
17 Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. 18 If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. 19 Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord. 20 On the contrary:
“If your enemy is hungry, feed him;
   if he is thirsty, give him something to drink.
In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.”
21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
Perhaps the story of David Platillero is helpful here. 
I came across his story maybe 6 months ago when I saw a friend post about it online. 
Two years ago, David Platillero was a 24 year old living in Nashville. 
He was riding his bike to the Blackbird Academy of Music School when a driver ran a red light and crashed into him. 
His body went about 10 feet in the air and landed on the pavement  
He miraculously lived but was told he might never walk again. 
(Show Platillero photo #1)
And yet, Platillero, who is a follower of Jesus, was lying in the hospital, for months, thinking about the young woman who hit him…and what she must be feeling
He was told from others that she was suffering immensely with guilt and depression because of the accident.   
6 months later, while he was still in the hospital, the young woman was being charged in court for the accident. 
Platillero sent his father to court in his place, saying, “Let’s not press charges.  Let’s do what’s best for her. I don’t think prison is going to be any good for someone who has already had so many bad things happen.” 
The woman was absolutely overwhelmed with his mercy. 
After, he was released for the hospital and was able to walk again with the help of crutches, he decided to meet the woman, face to face, at a coffee shop 
She was nervous to see him, but he smiled and opened his arms
She ran to him, and embraced him for a minute, just crying 
(Show Platillero photo # 2)  
And then he told her the 3 most freeing words, “I forgive you” 
Now listen, if he had decided to press charges, and she goes to jail…nobody in society even blinks. 
This story is not in the news. 
That kind of stuff happens 100 times a day in our country
But how is he living? 
This is NOT scorecard living. 
This is NOT I’m going to get even with you. 
I suffered…now you will suffer. 
This is Christian living, 
You hurt me, I bless you
And here’s what’s fascinating to me about Christian living
We SAY that that Jesus’ teachings are so counter cultural, and yet when the world truly sees them lived out, they admire it so deeply. 
David Platillero for instance was asked to be on Ellen, he got on American Idol to tell his story, and more. 
Why?  Because when the world is allowed to see how beautiful, and forgiving Jesus’ way is, it’s something they want more of. 
We could say that he’s living out the Golden rule…treating others as he wants to be treated… 
But I believe it’s even deeper than that. 
Let me explain. 

The Golden Rule is great, if you truly have the ability to give people the benefit of the doubt…and you can actually put yourself in their shoes. 
But what a lot of people miss in this passage in Luke 6, and in studying the Gospels is that the Golden Rule, while immensely helpful, is not the height of Jesus’ teachings. 
It’s not even his main ethic for our morality in these 10 verses! 
Our main ethic for why we should live in this radical way, is what many have called, “The Platinum Rule.” 
It’s one step above gold. 
And that’s what we see in verses 35-36
(Luke 6:35b-36) – NIV 
Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. 36 Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful. 
We are to be kind, merciful, and forgiving, to others, Jesus says, because he was merciful to ungrateful and wicked people like us. 
If the Golden Rule is Treat others as you would like to be treated. 
The Platinum Rule: Treat others as Jesus treated you. 
And this is one step higher…because if I think about “how I want to be treated,” there’s still a chance that I won’t get beyond “scorecard living”
“How would I want to be treated??  Yeah, I would want them to pay me back, that’s how I would want to be treated!” 
I forgive the guy who mocks me for being a Christian, not just because that’s how I would want to be treated (to be forgiven)…
I forgive him because I used to mock Jesus himself, and He forgave me. 
That’s going platinum:  Treating others as Jesus treated you. 
We’re going to totally miss out how to live in this world if we keep living in scorecard living…
Because if you feel like: 
“I just keep pouring out and pouring out, and they’re just draining…”
“I just feel like I’m forgiving and forgiving…and they just keep on doing more wrong.” 
If you keep looking at this like a scorecard, you’re going to feel like giving up on doing the right thing. 
Because you’ll be waiting for it to even out. 
And, sorry to break it to you, but a lot of things in your life are never going to even out.  
But as followers of Jesus…we keep giving, and we keep serving, and we blessing and forgiving…even if the scorecard never evens out…
Because that’s how He treated us! 
This is the platinum rule!
When we complain about people not giving back to us and returning kindness to us…we forget how He treated us when we did the same thing to Him. 
He keeps pouring out his kindness on you over and over and over again, and yet, most of the time we just take it, run with it, and continue to ignore him. 
He keeps forgiving us over and over and over again, and yet we just keep sinning anyway. 
Why do we treat people with such undeserved kindness that’ll never make the scorecard even? 
Because that’s how he treats us!  
Let me ask you a question: 
Anyone in here getting close to evening the scorecard with God? 
You’re really close to repaying him back for all of his kindness and mercy? 
Didn’t think so. 
And if He still loves you and is kind to you even though we can never come close to evening the scorecard, shouldn’t we do the same for others?? 
Think back to those people whom you thought of earlier…
The ones who have maybe wronged you. 
How do you let go of scorecard living…and start living out the platinum rule in regard to them? 
And if that seems difficult, know this:
You can’t live out the platinum rule if you don’t first understand HOW MUCH He’s forgiven you.  
This is like the parable Jesus tells in Matthew 18 where a man owed the king an enormous amount of money that he couldn’t repay, and the king was going to sell that man’s family into slavery to repay it. 
But after the man begged for forgiveness, the king mercifully cancelled all his debt
But that very day, that same servant went out, found a guy who owed him pennies compared to what he owed the king, and threw the man in jail because he couldn’t pay him back. 
That’s what we do. 
It’s the opposite of the platinum rule
We treat others in a way that looks nothing like our King mercifully treated us
Because we’ve forgotten just how merciful and wonderful the king has been to us!
Listen, Your ability to forgive and show grace to others is directly related to how much you’ve realized that he’s forgiven you  
He loves you…He’s forgiven you…he’s shown you so much grace… 
Let that sink in…and I believe you’ll be able to let that pour out to others.   
Let me pray.

Copyright: David Sorn
Renovation Church in Blaine, MN

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