A Powerful Lesson in Love
“If ye fulfil the royal law according to the scripture, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself, ye do well: But if ye have respect to persons [show partiality per the concordance], ye commit sin, and are convinced of the law as transgressors. For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.” James 2:8-10
I was trying to study something in the Bible one morning when the Spirit of God showed me I was not where God wanted me in His Word. So I packed my bags and moved – to James 2:8-12. Little did I know what He would do. God doesn’t just teach us. He tests us. For me, God sometimes tests me quickly – even in a matter of minutes. When I looked at these verses, clearly I had come to a new place. I didn’t just want to study them. I wanted to live them, and I knew I needed the Spirit of God to give me the strength to walk in God’s ways.
I wrote to God that morning in my notebook: Who in this world am I looking at with respect of persons [partiality]?…Please show me people in my life – in this world – that I need to love and am not loving…Please help me to love, dear Father…It is one thing to love you as much as I do, in honoring you I need to love others the way you call me to…You say in these verses it is a SIN to have respect of persons. Help me to love my neighbor as myself Lord, BY YOUR SPIRIT, IN YOUR STRENGTH, NOT picking and choosing whom to love…Showing partiality in loving people is BREAKING THE LAW…Help me not to show partiality! My God, I am so convicted…Help me to love without partiality oh Lord!
Minutes later, I got an e-mail from someone I felt had hurt me. At first, I didn’t make any connection. Then the Holy Spirit moved inside me. My instinct was to write this person off, to push the person away, to shut the door on any possible future hurt. But I realized God was showing me how I have shown partiality with people through the years by withholding His love at times from those who have hurt me. The verses show us we are not supposed to respect one person over another, to show one person love and withhold it from another, to pick and choose whom to love. We are simply to love our neighbors as ourselves. Period. I knew what I needed to do with this person. And I know what I need to do with everyone. I need in the power of the Spirit of God, through love of the Lord Jesus Christ, to love all of my neighbors – no matter how they treat me. Not respecting anyone over anyone else, not showing partiality in to whom I show the love of Christ. Loving all. For the glory of God!
Is God speaking to you?