Do you harbor any form of prejudice in your heart? For example, do you look down on the homeless and view them as a stain on society? Do you harbor negative feelings toward an ethnic group, the gay community or even hate groups? Do you think of, or treat others differently, who don’t agree with your world view even though your world view may be Christian? If you do, remember that true love is all inclusive. We need to learn how to love every soul even if, at the moment, that soul may be opposed to our world view or live contrary to our way of life. We need to really love our neighbor as we love ourselves no matter who they are. We need to treat everyone as Jesus would treat them. James chapter 2, verses 8 and 9 tells us:
“If you really keep the royal law found in Scripture, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself,’ you are doing right. But if you show favoritism, you sin and are convicted by the law as lawbreakers.”
You may have heard it said regarding sinners and unbelievers that we should “love the person, but hate the sin.” Though that may be true, I believe that many Christians find it difficult to separate the two. The Bible tells us that our battle isn’t against flesh and blood, but against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Every person was created by God, and every person has a soul; a soul that God wants to save. The Bible reminds us that it isn’t God’s desire that any should perish. Any of us. We are all people, loved by God so much that he died for us… all of us. John 3:16 says, “for God so loved the world that he gave his one and only son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish, but have eternal life.” In light of these truths we need to evaluate what it truly means to love the person, but hate the sin. For all people we should never discriminate, we should not show favoritism because as James says, when we do, “we sin and are convicted by the law as lawbreakers.”
James says that, “if you show favoritism, you sin and are convicted by the law as lawbreakers.” We need to truly love our neighbors as we love ourselves because remember, without Jesus, we could’ve been one of the people we currently abhor. We could’ve been that which we revile the most. We could’ve been the worst of sinners, misguided, and maybe even one who preys on the innocent. But as far as our walk with the Lord is concerned, we are not to discriminate. If God loves the world, we should too. I pray that we all learn how to truly love the person, while at the same time hating the sin; realizing that these are two separate entities. Our job is to show the love of Christ while allowing the Holy Spirit to help us in that effort.