My brethren, do not hold your faith in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ with an attitude of personal favoritism. - James 2:1
One of the issues that Christians have always struggled with is the idea of being better than others. Many times, one becomes a follower of Jesus and begins looking down on others who haven’t made the same decision. Pride creeps in, elitism prevails. As a result, many who are not following Jesus lose interest because “If that is what Christianity is, I don’t want it.” James is making it clear it is not. The basis for his warning of favoritism is their faith in Jesus. One can’t have faith in Jesus and show favoritism. Why? Because Jesus didn’t. In New Testament Greek the root of the word favoritism is the word face. James focus is on judging by the face, what we see. This is also proven by the context when he explains the difference between a poor looking man and a rich looking man (2:2-13). We look at Jesus. He was with the widow, the harlot, the tax gatherer, the sinner. Church leaders didn’t understand this. It was obvious to them who these people were because of their appearance. They didn’t dress like the “Holy.” It is no coincidence that right before this passage James defines what pure religion (Christianity) is. It is to watch what we say and to look after orphans and widows in their distress (1:27). During this time widows and orphans were second-class citizens. The term orphans refers to darkness(greek). Those who are unable to find their way. They need help, assistance and guidance. Following Jesus means that we will invest in others who fall into this category. This can be done in many ways- parenting, adoption/foster care, big brothers/sisters, teaching, coaching, befriending our co-workers and neighbors. Look around. It is not difficult to encounter others who are in this state. Pray and find a way to invest in someone today who doesn’t know Christ. We may say it isn’t for us, or we don’t have the time, or things are just too difficult right now. We need to be reminded that those who were receiving James letter were currently under persecution (James 1). Instead of consoling them and making them feel comfortable in their distress, James challenges them to invest in others regardless of what they are facing. Sure, there will be a cost, but as the example of Jesus shows us, and the Apostle Paul Stated, “Your life is not your own” (1 Cor. 6:19).
Who are you investing in? Respond in comments or reply on twitter- @wildman1996
- Wild Man
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