Prove yourselves to be those who do the word … ones who contemplate the perfect, liberating law and persevere in it … If you fulfill the royal law as expressed in this scripture, “Love your neighbor as yourself,” you are doing beautifully. James 1:22–2:8
When we responded joyfully to the message that God was reconciling people to himself through the life, death and resurrection of Jesus, we changed. It was like God put a lifeless lump of clay into a box, blew on us with his magic breath, and brought us out as living beings. But being back in God’s good graces can be overwhelming. Pledging allegiance to Jesus incurs an obligation. We must obey the Son. We must do the will of Father. Fortunately, the royal law is liberating rather than constricting, simple rather than complex. It is both profound and practical. It is narrow in its expression and broad in its application. God wants us to express how much we value him by doing what he commands. So, he doesn’t make this task burdensome. He even gives us the Holy Spirit to help us stay on the path. If we love our neighbors, we will be doing beautifully. That’s it. Granted, we need to think about what we’re doing. This can’t be a haphazard enterprise. But, if we consider one another carefully with the intention that love grows in our hearts and good, appropriate deeds spring from our hands, we will be doing well. And we can anticipate hearing Jesus say at the judgment, “Well done, good and faithful servant! Enter into the realm of my joy.”
Gracious God, grant me insight and creativity as I consider the neighbors you send me.