If you really keep the royal law found in Scripture, “Love your neighbor as yourself,” you are doing right. But if you show favoritism, you sin and are convicted by the law as lawbreakers. For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it. For he who said, “You shall not commit adultery,” also said, “You shall not murder.” If you do not commit adultery but do commit murder, you have become a lawbreaker. James 2:8-11
At first read, this scripture looks pretty harsh and unforgiving. What I actually wish is that we would all read this verse as we get up in the morning and think about how we are going to live our day. We don’t get to choose which of Christ’s teachings we want to follow each day. We need to be reminded that even the tough days that might bring unexpected challenges must be lived according to his word.
I have been fascinated, mortified and terrified listening to the politics of the day. I looked up politics and found “the theory and practice of government; the interrelationships between people, groups or organizations; persuasions or beliefs.” I am not sure that there is much I can do about the theory and practice of government except to stay informed and make sure I vote. But I do have control over my relationship with other people and my own beliefs and actions. The instructions in James Verse 2 certainly tie into the lessons of James 1 in reminding us that it is not enough to have faith without actions. If I live my life showing favoritism, if I treat my neighbor, my co-worker, my relatives, or friends, or the next service provider differently because of the way they look, act or their beliefs, I am stumbling and become a lawbreaker in the eyes of the Lord. We have the freedom to believe in our Lord without fearing for our lives. With that freedom comes the responsibility to daily act our faith.
Dear Lord, Please help me to daily live my faith. Please help me to recognize when I am not following in Your steps and guide me to choices that bring grace and peace. In Your Name, Amen.