“Love your neighbor as yourself.” (James 2:8)

LITTLE JIMMY RAISED HIS HAND and waved it in front of Carolyn’s nose, just to be sure she wouldn’t miss it. This pre-kindergarten class was nothing if not enthusiastic, and Carolyn smiled as she repeated the question, “What do you think it means to love your neighbor as yourself?” Jimmy responded, “It means you treat them the same way you treat yourself. If you treat yourself to candy, you share it with them. If you go outside to play, you make sure they have somebody to play with.”

“Great answers, Jimmy!” Carolyn said. “And why do you think we should do those things?”

Jimmy said, “Everybody knows that! Because God wants us to!”

In fact, when James uses the phrase royal law to describe the command to “Love your neighbor as yourself,” he made the same point as little Jimmy. What made the simple command a royal law was that it came from the very heart of God. Everybody knew that. Yet James felt it necessary to remind first-century Christians of this royal law as they considered their treatment of the rich and poor alike.

Ways to bring this royal law, “Love your neighbor as yourself,” to life are obvious, even to little children. The challenge for adult Jesus-followers is to put the royal law into visible practice each and every day, too.

Implement the royal law somehow today.

Steve Wamberg is a husband, dad, writer, and pastor who loves preaching, teaching, music, coffee, and Nebraska football.

© 2018 Wesleyan Publishing House. Reprinted from Light from the Word. Used by permission.