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)
Yesterday we talked about not judging a book by its cover. When you judge other people on anything on the outside and ignore what is on the inside, you do something even God doesn’t do. Remember this, “The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart” (I Samuel 16:7).
God does not show favoritism. Do you know why? God loves everybody. And anybody can love God. God offers salvation to everybody. Who is welcomed to enter into God’s family? Everybody, because God loves everybody.
If you love God the way you ought to love God, you will love others the way God loves others. If God loves everybody, then you love everybody. If you love everyone equally then you will look at everyone equally. In fact, one of the ways you know you love God is you look at others the way that God looks at others. He looks at them with love.
You may think you are a good person because you have never murdered anybody. You may think you are a good person, because you have been faithful to your spouse. But what James is saying in today’s key passage is that if you are guilty of bigotry, bias, prejudice, racism of any kind, to any degree, for any reason your sin is just as bad as adultery or murder. Which by the way, murder was considered one of the top two sins in the eyes of the Jews and the Pharisees. In fact, in the Old Testament, both of those were deserving of the death penalty.
You see, bigotry breaks the two greatest commandments. If you are a bigot, you don’t love God the way you ought to love God and you don’t love your neighbor like you love yourself.
Topics: Race Relations