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  • William T. Howe Ph.D.

February 23, 2023

The Bible Edge

Everyone needs an Edge, Believers can have the Bible Edge

James 2:8

If ye fulfil the royal law according to the scripture, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself, ye do well:

Here it is. The royal law of interpersonal relationships. Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. Nowhere else in the Bible is that phrase “royal law” used. It is reserved for this extraordinary teaching. God’s Word states clearly if a person would fulfil this “royal law” they would do well.

It’s interesting that in Matthew 25 when explaining the parable of the talents Jesus said that the lord rewarded his servants based upon how they used their talents. Not only did the lord give back to the servants that which they gained, he also said unto them: Well done… (Matthew 25:21, 23) To the servant who started with one talent and ended with one talent the lord said Thou wicked and slothful servant… (Matthew 25:26) He gave a “well done” to those who did well. He gave a stern rebuke to the one who did not properly use his talent, even taking it away from him. From the very lips of Jesus all can clearly see the importance of doing well in this life.

There are other actions of our lives that God’s Word associates with the end result of doing well, but none of those are classified as the “royal law”. Only this thing of loving our neighbor commands that honor.

This being said, why is it then that so many do not live by this law? It could be that first and foremost they don’t know it. With the absence of Bible reading in the lives of most, how many have actually read the words of the “royal law”? It could be that there are so few examples of this law in practice that few are influenced to live by it. It could be that selfishness raises its ugly head, stopping this thing of loving others as self in its tracks. Or it could be something deeper. Something so sinister that it is not dare mentioned. Perhaps the reason individuals do not love others as they love themselves is that they do not love themselves.

In a day when too many judge themselves based upon unrealistic criteria, not loving oneself is a widespread problem. Loving yourself is not selfishness, it is not self-centeredness, it is not narcissism; it is respecting yourself, it is approving of yourself, it is accepting yourself and so much more. To love others, love yourself. If we are to love others as ourselves, we must love ourselves. Volumes could be written about this subject but let’s leave it at this.

Perhaps the greatest Bible Edge for interpersonal relationships is this… love others as you love yourself, by doing so you will earn a “well done” from your Lord.

William Howe, Ph.D.

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