“If you really fulfill the royal law according to the Scripture, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself,” you are doing well.” James 2:8
We see here in James another repetition of one of the great commandments to “love your neighbor as yourself.” Repetition is the mother of learning. God says again and again that we are called to love our neighbor as ourselves in order that we do not miss one of the most basic commands of the Christian life; to love our neighbor. There are times that we miss the most obvious commands because we are looking for something deeper. The depth is not in finding a new commandment, but in applying the most basic commandment in loving our neighbors as ourselves to all areas of life.
The last of the Ten Commandments applies this principle of love to our desire to have what does not belong to us. Our hearts want to reach out and grasp the possessions, the talents, and the gifts that God has given to others. Our world trains our hearts to compare ourselves with others while God trains our hearts to rejoice in how he blesses others. Our world trains us to be discontent in how we do not have what others have while God trains us to be content with what He has given us. Hebrews 13:5, “Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”
When we covet and desire our neighbor’s possessions, spouse, family, gifts, etc., we are essentially raising our fist at God and challenging how He has decided to distribute his gifts. We also are challenging God’s love for us. We say in our heart, “God you don’t really love me because you have not given me that…” And God replies, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” God has given us Himself. Jesus Christ lovingly gave himself to death to bring us to God.
Beloved, do not be conformed to worldly discontentment. Do not compare your life to others, but rejoice in that God will never leave you nor forsake you. You are not accepted by the abundance of your possessions, but through blood of Jesus Christ. Do not covet, but rejoice in what God has graciously given you. He has given you Himself. Trust Him. Be content with what you have.