Daily Devotional

James 2:8

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

Have you ever wondered about how you’re doing at something? I know I have. How am I doing as a husband? How am I doing as a father? How am I doing as a friend, brother, pastor, neighbor? How am I doing at life? We’ve probably all wondered if we’re doing well at something and can all agree that it’d be nice to actually have a way to measure how we’re doing.

One metric we’re given to measure if we’re doing well is loving our neighbors. If we love them like we love ourselves, then James tells us that we are doing well. Here’s the thing about this command; it’s something we are supposed to DO. It’s not enough to say we love our neighbor (or in today’s culture, it’s also not enough to just hashtag something #loveyourneighbor) but to truly have a working faith we need to show it with our actions; faith and actions go hand in hand.

Our behavior should be marked by love. 1 Corinthians 13:1-3 says, “If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.” We could do amazing, wonderful, powerful things but if we don’t do those things with love, then we “gain nothing.”
Love really is the most important thing, but we need to understand what love really means. The Google definition of love is “an intense feeling of deep affection.” I don’t know about you, but I think that’s a pretty lame definition. I think Jesus defined it far better when he said in John 15:13, “Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.” You may not ever be called to lay down your life but what about your social status? Your promotion? Your reputation? Your own feelings of superiority? What do we do when love costs us?

Truly loving someone else means that we look beyond our own desires to also seek out the well-being of others. Love is sacrificial. Love isn’t easy. Love is what matters most. Luckily, we’re told exactly what true love looks like. 1 Corinthians 13:4-7, “Love is patient and kind, love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.” Let’s love like that.
English Standard Version (ESV) The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.