Isaac the Benevolent

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#116: “Isaac the Benevolent”
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[[:Category:{{{genre}}} Episodes| {{{genre}}}]]

Matthew 7:12

12So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.

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

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Isaac the Benevolent

“Isaac the Benevolent” is episode #116 of the Adventures in Odyssey audio series. It was written and directed by Phil Lollar, and originally aired on June 23, 1990.


Isaac Morton tries to put the command to 'do unto others' into action — and ends up causing far more harm than good!


Isaac Morton knows the Bible. When Whit asks his sixth-grade Bible study group their memory verse, Isaac's hand always shoots up first. On this particular day, the verse happens to be Matthew 7:12, the Golden Rule. But Isaac is confused. He knows the verse says, "Do unto others as you would have others do unto you." But he doesn't know what kinds of things he should do or how he should do them. Class ends before Whit can explain this, and unfortunately, Isaac takes advice from the next adult he runs across — Eugene.

After a confusing conversation, the two of them conclude that "doing unto others" means that whatever Isaac likes is what other people will like, too. He tries putting this into practice and has disastrous results.

Later at Whit's End, he explains his problem to Connie. She says the true meaning of "doing unto others" is helping people without expecting anything in return. Connie suggests that Whit is the perfect candidate on whom Isaac can practice the Golden Rule. Connie reveals that Whit doesn't have a television. Isaac can't believe it. So with Connie's help, Isaac immediately rushes out to buy one for Whit.

When they deliver the gift to Whit, though, Isaac and Connie learn that Whit doesn't have a television because he doesn't want one — not because he can't afford one. When Whit watches the tube, he turns into a TV junkie. Isaac is upset and begins to doubt whether "doing unto others" is even possible! But Whit quickly shows Isaac that following the Golden Rule is not only possible — it's the best way to live.

Discussion Questions

  1. What was wrong with the way Isaac thought we should "do unto others"?
  2. Why is the Golden Rule important? How can you apply the Golden Rule to your life?






Isaac Morton: What happened?
Eugene Meltsner: Well, the sequence of events occurred with extreme epiphyte. But I shall attempt to recall them. I was powering my two wheeler along this pathway when your personage suddenly appeared directly in front of me, blocking my course. My reflexes immediately sprang to life in an attempt to navigate an evasive maneuver around you while still maintaining course and speed, but I evidently overcompensated and my shin careened off the hardened path and upended us both in this shrub.

Eugene Meltsner: In the lay vernacular, what's the big deal Isaac? You just be nice to people.
Isaac Morton: That's what Lucy said. But is being nice really all there is to it? And are you supposed to be nice to everybody or just those who are nice to you? And are you supposed to be nice to them so they'll be nice to you later? Or are you supposed to wait until they're nice to you and do something back nice to them? Eugene?
Eugene Meltsner: Oh, sorry, Isaac. For the first time in my life, I understand what it means to not comprehend something...

Isaac Morton: When I try being nice and helping people, all I get is yelled at.

Big Ed: Listen, honey, height isn't everything. Of course, in my case, height is nothing. But there are other ways to be big: a big heart, big stature, big character — but mostly, big deals!