Speak and act as those who are going to be judged by the law that gives freedom. James 1:12
In my time of study today, I went stream of consciousness. My first question: what is this law that gives freedom, I asked. My Bible notes said it was referring to the royal law of loving your neighbor as yourself. Using the Blue Letter Bible App, I search up other references to the freedom mentioned here. “Wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.” 2 Cor 3:17. “Christ has truly set us free.” Gal 5:1. “For you have been called to live in freedom.” Gal 5:13. “If you look carefully into the perfect law that sets you free…” James 1:25. We are not chained by the law of love. Our bonds are loosed and our souls can freely love others, not out of duty or “should”, but with the Spirit of the Lord coursing through us unbound.
Looking at James 1:8, I then asked the timeless question, “Who is my neighbor?” This took me back to James’s bro Jesus’s parable of the Good Samaritan. Jesus redefined what a neighbor was back then. To his hearers, it would have first meant, their fellow Jews, but in this story where the hero is the very scum of Jewish opinion, a Samaritan, Jesus breaks wide the definition including ALL people as our neighbors. The enemy acted as a brother while the brothers treated their injured countryman as they normally would have treated an enemy.
How then shall we live? Whoever crosses our path today, let’s ask for the Holy Spirit to pour into us His compassion and an understanding of His great love for them, no matter how much the person gets under our skin or angers us. May this be an outflow of the Spirit freely working in us rather than our attempt to please God or do good in our own abilities.
Lord Jesus, open our eyes to see our neighbors as you do. Flow your love deep into the reservoirs of our hearts so that we can overflow with your care and compassion for each person who crosses our path today.
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