Sunday 13 May, 2018

James 2:1-7

2 My brothers and sisters, believers in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ must not show favoritism. 2 Suppose a man comes into your meeting wearing a gold ring and fine clothes, and a poor man in filthy old clothes also comes in. 3 If you show special attention to the man wearing fine clothes and say, “Here’s a good seat for you,” but say to the poor man, “You stand there” or “Sit on the floor by my feet,” 4 have you not discriminated among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts? 5 Listen, my dear brothers and sisters: Has not God chosen those who are poor in the eyes of the world to be rich in faith and to inherit the kingdom he promised those who love him? 6 But you have dishonored the poor. Is it not the rich who are exploiting you? Are they not the ones who are dragging you into court? 7 Are they not the ones who are blaspheming the noble name of him to whom you belong?

This passage is about showing inappropriate favouritism in church. I love this passage because it has a direct application for us all every Sunday.

On initial reflection this challenge seems simple enough, don’t show favouritism to a wealthy person over a poor person but on further reflection there are more things to consider.

First, it should be said that favouring a person is not necessarily wrong, what this passage is saying is favouring a wealthy person over a poor person for personal gain is wrong.

Next, unless we take the time to think about this it is very easy to show favouritism without realising it. Take some time and challenge yourself as to how impartial you are, I know I will.

Finally, and probably the most important thing to think about is, the spirit of this challenge of impartiality applies to many things other than wealth. We favour people who are rich in beauty, athleticism, youth, intelligence, social status, and achievement. Wow, put that way I know I have a lot to think about.

So here is the challenge, think about how you might be living out this passage of scripture in your life. As far as Sunday services go the best advice is that of our senior pastor, take the time to speak to somebody you have never met before.

Lord, open my eyes regarding how I am showing inappropriate favouritism and give me a heart to bless those not as well off as I am. Amen!

Written by David Newton

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