James in his epistle makes some things so clear that you can’t miss it. One of those things is that we have to be careful of is how we treat other people:
8 Yes indeed, it is good when you obey the royal law as found in the Scriptures: "Love your neighbor as yourself." 9 But if you favor some people over others, you are committing a sin. You are guilty of breaking the law.
10 For the person who keeps all of the laws except one is as guilty as a person who has broken all of God’s laws. 11 For the same God who said, "You must not commit adultery," also said, "You must not murder." So if you murder someone but do not commit adultery, you have still broken the law.
12 So whatever you say or whatever you do, remember that you will be judged by the law that sets you free. 13 There will be no mercy for those who have not shown mercy to others. But if you have been merciful, God will be merciful when he judges you. James 2:8-12 (NLT)
One of the sayings today that relate to this passage is that we tend to judge others by their actions, while we judge ourselves by our intent. In this passage we see that while we may excel at meeting some of God’s laws, we can still be a failure in others. And it those "others" that can place you in judgement and retribution of the law. While you may be able to dance through the "thou shalt nots", can you also dance through when certain people offend you, or mar you with insults and yes, even racial slurs? Can you show mercy to those whose hard hearts spew out slander and hatred?
Now this is a hard saying, one that I am not always sure that I have mastered. Yet the Word we speak can’t always be only what we have mastered. We must all recognize that there is a standard not set by man, but by God Himself. That standard does not lend passes to those who obey and master a few of the commandments. It is essential that as a believer we understand that we must continue to crucify our flesh and allow Christ to live in us. He enables us to attain a life that always strives for mastery. We must always remember:
3 Loving God means keeping his commandments, and his commandments are not burdensome. 4 For every child of God defeats this evil world, and we achieve this victory through our faith. 5 And who can win this battle against the world? Only those who believe that Jesus is the Son of God. 1 John 5:3-5 (NLT)
I know, it’s tight – but it’s right!