If, however, you are fulfilling the royal law according to the Scripture, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself,” you are doing well. James 2:8
The royal law…are we fulfilling it? James stresses the importance of this by quoting this command from the Lord in the Old Testament:
“…you shall love your neighbor as yourself; I am the Lord” Leviticus 19:18.
And the Words of Jesus:
“In everything, therefore, treat people the same way you want them to treat you, for this is the Law and the Prophets” Matthew 7:12.
The royal law stems from the greatest commandment of all:
“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might” Deuteronomy 6:5.
Jesus said that loving God with all of yourself is the first and greatest commandment (Matthew 7:37-39). This command, combined with the command to love your neighbor, encompasses all the other Old Testament laws.
However, we do not see much love in our world today. Instead, hate crimes are all around us. Every day in the news I hear of another shooting and attacks on other individuals, even in families…it’s heartbreaking! And folks, it’s only going to get worse! Satan knows his time is short and he is working overtime to wreak havoc in the lives of God’s people.
As believers, how are we doing keeping the royal law of loving our neighbor? This is not a request from God, it is a command He has given to us to love one another. However, James tells us that “if you show favoritism, you sin and are convicted by the law as lawbreakers” James 2:9.
So what exactly does it mean to show favoritism? “Show favoritism” comes from the Greek word, prosopolepteo, Strong’s #4380: from prosopon, “a face,” and lambano, “to lay hold of.” The word denotes making distinctions among people based on their rank or influence showing preference for the rich and powerful (Word Wealth, New Spirit Filled Life Bible).
Ouch! Quite convicting, isn’t it? Therefore, how can we keep the royal law of loving our neighbor if we are judging others and showing favoritism? I see this in our churches all the time. A person is judged by the way he or she dresses, or by their status in society, wealth versus poor, nationality, or color. We serve an impartial God, and He shows ALL people the same love, grace, blessings and benefits of His salvation. I am so thankful God does not show partiality. Therefore, as believers, we cannot love our neighbor as our self and at the same time show favoritism, because the two are mutually exclusive, and it is considered sin.
WOW! What powerful lessons this week from James, Chapter 2. These are tough times we live in today. That’s why it is so important to stay in God’s Word daily where we will receive truth and wisdom to live by in a world filled with confusion and chaos.
Have you ever felt convicted for showing favoritism yourself? What happened? What did you learn from this experience?
Praying for you,