Therefore, however you want people to treat you, so treat them, for this is the Law and the Prophets. Matthew 7:12
God has a sense of humor: He made the mathematics of selfishness compelling! Recognizing that being judged fairly, being taught effectively, and having the resources we need from God through other people is important; he made it possible for these things to happen — Even ungodly people know how to give good gifts when their children ask. To accomplish his purpose he made cooperation more attractive than competition. Imagine how much more relaxed, fearless, confident, content, and secure we’d feel if we knew our needs would be met without having to overcome someone else to succeed. Knowing that everyone else in our communities was acting on our behalf would make us glad to be in them; especially if our comrades were basing their behavior on their understanding of the behavior they’d like to receive. Self-centeredness is the wrong kind of selfishness, because self-centeredness pits us against everyone else; but godly selfishness puts everyone in our corner—and us in theirs. This is what Jesus means when he says we should “love our neighbors as ourselves.” Trusting God to meet our needs through the agency of others allows us to participate in the process he designed. Isn’t it funny how the Golden Rule makes it possible to be for ourselves by being for others?
O God who loves the cheerful giver, grant me the courage I need so I will gladly cooperate in the giving of all your gifts. Amen.