The concept of The Golden Rule—treat others as you would like to be treated—appears in many religions. So what makes Jesus’ version of the saying so exceptional?

Its uniqueness lies in a single word, “therefore,” that signals the generosity of our heavenly Father. Here is what Jesus said: “If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him! Therefore, whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them” (Matt. 7:11-12 italics added).

All of us fall short of what we know to be true: We do not love others the way God loves us. Jesus lived out that admirable ethic with perfect love by living and dying for all our sins.

We have a loving, giving Father who set aside His own self-interest to reveal the full measure of His love through His Son Jesus. God’s generosity is the dynamic by which we treat others as we would like to be treated. We love and give to others because He first loved us (1 John 4:19).

Our heavenly Father asks us to live up to His commands, but He also gives us His power and love to carry it out. We need only to ask Him for it.