If you really keep the royal law found in Scripture, “Love your neighbor as yourself,” you are doing right.
Love Your Neighbor
I deleted my Twitter account a few weeks ago. I just couldn’t take it anymore. While it started as a way for me to keep up with news and current events, the longer I stayed on Twitter the more I didn’t like what I saw. I saw angry virtual mobs saying vile things about other people whom they knew nothing about. I saw coordinated efforts to ruin the lives of people who held opinions that the Twitter hordes found objectionable. In short, I saw a glaring lack of the kind of thing that James talks about in our Bible passage today. I saw far too many people who failed to love their neighbor as they loved themselves.
Getting off Twitter, however, did not separate me from the problem of people failing to love their neighbor as themselves. That’s because getting off Twitter did not separate me from my own sinful heart. The failure of people to love their neighbor as themselves is not just an “out there” problem. It is an “in me” problem. My sinful nature loves me above all else. And it finds the whole idea of loving my neighbor as much as I love myself utterly offensive and absurd.
So how are we supposed to fulfill this demand when our sinful hearts resolutely refuse to do so? Praise God that in his undeserved love toward us he sent his Son Jesus to fulfill this demand for us. In fact, in his perfect living, Jesus not only loved all his neighbors as he loved himself, but he also loved God above all things. In doing this, Jesus fulfilled God’s entire law in our place. And through faith in him, we now have his perfect love toward God and neighbor credited to us, just as if we had done it ourselves.
Getting off Twitter won’t separate us from our old sinful selves. But in Jesus, we’re no longer just our old sinful selves. Through faith in Jesus, we are new people. And in him, we will keep the royal law found in Scripture and love our neighbor as ourselves.
Dearest Jesus, may your love for me fill my heart that I always love my neighbor as myself. Amen.