In these verses, James tells us to “love your neighbor as yourself”. He warns against showing partiality and favoritism. James’ instruction is to fully obey the law; it’s not okay to do only the unchallenging parts. He takes it one step further when he says to demonstrate the same level of love and mercy to others that we experience from God.
For people close to us, this might not be too difficult – most of the time. But it’s not always easy. People can be difficult to deal with, unfriendly, a little scary or unwilling to accept the love. With some, it’s easier to judge them rather than showing love and mercy. And yet, God asks us to love them as He loves us. This might be as simple as saying “Good morning” to someone or saying a prayer for them. To follow Jesus’ example, means looking beyond the prickly, dissimilar, or disagreeable person that we see to find the valuable, lovable person that He sees.
Following Jesus requires us to make hard choices and we have to decide if the reward is worth the sacrifice. The Message reads “Kind mercy wins over harsh judgment every time”.
Lord, Enable me to demonstrate kind mercy instead of harsh judgment with the people in my life.