Do You Follow the Royal Law?
Love Your Neighbor as Yourself
by J.M. Troppello
The Royal Law (James 2:8) is the law of love. It states that you shall love your neighbor as yourself. This law is superior to all others. James states in verse 8, that if you follow this law, you do well. For further reference, you can read James 1:25, Lev. 19:18, and Matt 22:39. As you read further in James 2:9, it states that those who show partiality, commit sin. The Thomas Nelson Study Bible (TNSB) states that, “James alludes to Leviticus 19:15, which prohibits favoritism to either the poor or the rich.”
8 Owe no one anything except to love one another, for he who loves another has fulfilled the law. 9 For the commandments, “You shall not commit adultery,” “You shall not murder,” “You shall not steal,” “You shall not bear false witness,” “You shall not covet,” and if there is any other commandment, are all summed up in this saying, namely, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” 10 Love does no harm to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law. (Romans 13:8-10, NKJV)
Loving others is a common thread throughout the Bible. God loved the world and sent His Son, Jesus to die for our sins (see John 3:16-17). Christians are called to love others. In this passage from Romans 13:8-10, Paul urges right away in verse 8 that you should owe no one anything except to love one another, for he who loves another has fulfilled the law.
“In the context of this passage and the time, owe no one anything primarily means respect and honor (see Romans 13:7). No doubt money is also included, but this passage does not prohibit borrowing (see Ps. 37:21 and Matt 5:42). Love is a debt that is never paid in full.” (TNSB)
I love that last statement from the TNSB, that love is a debt that is never paid in full.
That statement resonated with me and made me think. It reminded me of the parable of the unforgiving servant that Jesus spoke about in Matthew 18:21-35. Jesus responded to Peter’s question about how many times he should forgive someone who sins against him. Peter said, “Up to seven times?”
Then Jesus told the parable of the unforgiving servant. He started his explanation with the following statement:
22 Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven. (Matt. 18:22, NKJV)
Now, you don’t need to ‘keep count’ of the times you’re forgiving someone. The main point of this parable is to cultivate a forgiving heart and don’t hold hatred in your heart toward anyone.
I’ve had to forgive some very bad things that were done to me. I’ve forgiven those people. Some I’ve reconnected with and have a good relationship with now. However, there are others that I forgave, but they haven’t asked for forgiveness and don’t even acknowledge what they did to me. I don’t have a relationship with that person anymore. However, God has healed me from the hurt. The scars will always be there, but there is no hatred in my heart.
Are you following the Royal Law of loving your neighbor as yourself?
Article syndicated by Mustard Seed Sentinel on Medium.com.
About the Author
J.M. Troppello is an author, writer, and poet. She is the publisher of the online Christian lifestyle magazine, Mustard Seed Sentinel.
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