The Golden Rule of Leadership

Do to others as you would have them do to you. (Luke 6:31)


Do to others as you would have them do to you. (Luke 6:31 NIV)

Even those who aren’t followers of Jesus are familiar with the Golden Rule and its implications for living. Simply stated, “Treat others as you want to be treated.”

Being followers of Jesus, we are all called to be servant-hearted leaders. Even if we aren’t officially recognized or defined as “leaders,” we are still responsible for guiding some people somehow. Our everyday lives show the power of treating others with kindness to a watching world.

Think of the kindness you wish others would show you; do the same for them. (Luke 6:31 VOICE)

1. Think

Pause, Breathe. Consider. In John 8, we find a scene unfolding that could happen anywhere. A group of people are ready to stone a woman. In today’s culture, those stones could symbolize any difference in opinion. We are often quick to react and quick to throw stones. Yet, Jesus shows us that taking time to think (even briefly) guides others to pause and consider their actions.

But Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger. (John 8:6b)

Many have speculated why and what Jesus was writing. Is He providing us with a practical example of pausing, breathing, considering – and thinking before reacting?


2. Think of the kindness you wish others would show you.

Whatever you want people to do for you …. (Luke 6:31 ISV)

How do we wish others would treat us? What would we like others to do for us? When do we need others to show us kindness? In a culture where leaders are often known for being disconnected from those they serve, our lists of how we wish leaders and others would treat us may differ, but at heart, don’t we all want to be seen, known, and loved?

I want others to:

  • invite me.
  • include me.
  • accept me.
  • listen to me.
  • forgive me.
  • encourage me.
  • give me the benefit of the doubt.

3. Do the same for them.

With my kindness list of how I want others to treat me, I can consider what it would look like for me to do the same for them.

  • Invite others to participate without thinking about whether they will accept or not. For many of us, simply knowing we are wanted is a gift. “Come, follow me,” Jesus said … (Matthew 4:19)
  • Include others in ways (even small ways) that highlight our belief that every part of the body of Christ is both necessary and vital. There is no better word than together. Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ. (1 Corinthians 12:12)
  • Accept others “as is.” This gives us a taste of how the Father accepts us. He knows our sinful hearts, yet He draws us to Himself. Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God. (Romans 15:7)
  • Listen deeply to the words spoken – and those left unsaid. Deep listening helps us understand others, connect, and grow closer. Even when the words spoken are ones that we don’t agree with, we can listen to understand a heart and agree to disagree. Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry. (James 1:19)
  • Forgive. Just as the Father forgives us, we are to forgive others. We all make mistakes, get things wrong, overreact, speak too quickly, and allow fear and anger to spill out. We would do well to remember that we need forgiveness, too. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. (Colossians 3:13)
  • Encourage. The gift of encouragement can change the trajectory of another’s day. Kind words are like honey—sweet to the soul and healthy for the body. (Proverbs 16:24)
  • Give others the benefit of the doubt. With Jesus as our example in the story of the woman about to be stoned, we can look beyond a troubling moment, look at our mistakes, and question our motives. When we do so, we can assume the best about the other person. Do not judge, or you too will be judged. (Matthew 7:1)

Intentional kindness is radical and revolutionary, proof of the Holy Spirit in us. What the Spirit breathes into us – the wonder of Jesus’ love – radiates through us. Intentional kindness is leaning deeper into Jesus, listening for His still, small voice, and stepping out in courageous faith to listen, lead, and love like Him.



Lord Jesus, open our hearts and eyes to those we can guide with a listening ear and a kind word. Please help us listen deeply to both the words spoken and those left unsaid. May we be quick to listen and slow to speak, and may our words be laced with compassion and kindness. Amen.

Yellow Bubbles
Pamela Piquette

Pamela Piquette

Executive Director and Co-Founder of Chronic Joy®

Pamela, a leader and a visionary following God's call to inspire those affected by chronic illness, mental illness, and chronic pain, believes that every precious life impacted by illness is both vital and purposed.

Pamela is a wife of more than 35 years, the mom of three married children, and a grandma of six. She is diagnosed with chronic migraines and other chronic conditions. She enjoys baking sourdough bread and chocolate chip cookies, drinking hot tea, being outdoors, and reading (almost always more than one book at a time).

Prayers of Servant-Hearted Leaders

Being followers of Jesus, we are all called to listen, lead, and love. Prayer opens our hearts and eyes to those we can guide with a listening ear and a kind word. Begin with the prayers below, use them as they are, or create personal prayers of your own.

Servant-Hearted Leadership

SERVANT-HEARTED LEADERSHIP: Called to Listen, Lead, and Love Like Jesus

Chronic Joy


This one-of-a-kind resource book includes 12 chapters, each followed by actionable, practical tips for growth that you will turn to again and again.


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