Verse: James 2:8-11
8 If you really keep the royal law found in Scripture, “Love your neighbor as yourself,” you are doing right. 9 But if you show favoritism, you sin and are convicted by the law as lawbreakers. 10 For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it. 11 For he who said, “You shall not commit adultery,” also said, “You shall not murder.” If you do not commit adultery but do commit murder, you have become a lawbreaker.

When my kids were little, they used to try to obey certain things I would ask them to do, but to the bare minimum. Have you ever done that? For instance, we would ask them to clean up their toys, and they would just shove them all into a bucket. It gave the appearance of  being cleaned up, but nothing was actually “put away where it belonged.”

Let’s be honest, we all do this behavior still sometimes don’t we? Our teacher asks us to complete an assignment and we do the bare minimum. Our boss gives us a job and we “phone it in.”

But what about faith?

It seems to me that James is saying, “look, you can have all the appearances of faith in your life, but if you can’t love people who are different from you, then you’ve basically broken the whole law.”

It’s a convicting argument. It’s like my kids saying, “We did clean up!” And my response would be what? “No you didn’t.” Even though it looked like they did. Even though they put some effort into it. They didn’t really get the whole concept did they? They didn’t really understand the spirit of what was intended. I wasn’t looking for a superficial cleaning. I wanted things to actually be cleaned up.

In the same way, God isn’t looking for a superficial, surface-level, faith in our lives. He isn’t asking us to just have the appearance of faith. He actually wants faith to change us. To develop our desires, affect our actions, and heal our hearts. This is the call of God to us in this passage. Let’s enjoy a faith that is more than surface level, and invite the Holy Spirit to truly change us from the inside out!

Jesus, I welcome you to convict me where I need conviction, encourage me where I need encouragement, and open my eyes to see my blindspots.

Author: Christian Dunn