Love God, Love People

Read: James 2:1-9

If you really fulfill the royal law according to the Scripture, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself,” you are doing well. (v. 8)

With information, both good and bad, so readily available on the internet, celebrity status is often given to people almost overnight. People can become well-known for the most trivial of reasons and suddenly everyone is treating them differently. Although the internet was not to blame, evidently, among the believers to whom James was writing, there was an issue of favoritism being granted to people based upon their wealth, class, or social status.

But James did not simply say, “Stop doing that!” He reminded them, and us, about the why behind treating everyone with respect—because Jesus commanded it. As recorded in Mark 12, when asked by one of the teachers of the law what was the greatest commandment, Jesus addressed this and any other questions about how we are to live with two imperatives: love God, love your neighbor. He even stressed that “there is no other commandment greater than these” (Mark 12:31).

Such simplicity. In a world that seems to enjoy complicating things, Jesus’ words and James’ advice cut to the heart of our beliefs. Love God, love people. Loving God means loving others; loving others shows love for God. We are called to look beyond a person’s wealth, status, or rank and see them for who they truly are—a beloved child of God, created in his image. —Bill Rumbaugh

As you pray, ask God to help you see others as he sees them and treat them accordingly.

About the Author

Bill Rumbaugh is a retired pastor living in Manchester, Maryland.

This entry is part 3 of 8 in the series Day to Day Advice from James