My brothers, show no partiality as you hold the faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory. – James 2:1
We stand tall and are quick to deny it. It could never be us.
“Surely not me,” we whisper under our breaths as we nervously shift, fidget, and look away as we try to avoid the conversation.
But as much as we want to sweep it under the rug, it’s an issue that desperately needs addressed. The Church today is unfortunately plagued with the same vices as those in James’ day who let their personal preferences regarding others outweigh love. The problem? These brothers James refers to cared more about their own glory than the glory of the Lord, and we’re often no different.
Our flesh cries out to be aligned with those of elevated social standing, elevated beauty, and elevated influence. But oh, how my heart is filled with humble conviction when I remember that my Jesus was none of these things in the world’s eyes. In fact, He was the exact opposite. He was a man of no reputation, who made himself nothing by taking on the very nature of a servant (Philippians 2:7). He had no physical beauty that would attract us to Him, and was despised and rejected by men (Isaiah 53:2-3)… even unto death.
Jesus stooped low.
Low enough to leave the glories of heaven to be fully God, yet fully man.
Low enough to claim a stable as his birthing room; a manger as his first bed.
Low enough to touch the leper, dine with the tax collector, and extend grace to the adulterer.
Low enough to wash the disciples’ feet.
Low enough to take the spit, the beatings, and the nails in our place.
Low enough to give up His spirit and to be buried.
Low… so that He could ultimately rise in triumphant victory!
Taking on the form of a servant to sacrificially love those rejected by the world? There’s no more beautiful position. That’s how we walk in our Savior’s footsteps – by stooping low and humbling ourselves under God’s mighty hand so that at the proper time He may lift us up (1 Peter 5:6).
To the ones the world labels broken and abandoned, God says to visit in their affliction.
To the ones the world calls poor and unworthy, God says to give attention and honor.
To the ones the world says to disregard, discriminate against, and demoralize, God says to love like yourself.
Because of the cross, mercy triumphs over judgment.
Are you caught up in the sin of partiality? Don’t wait another minute to confess, humble yourself, and love like Jesus today.
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
At His feet,
Let’s talk: Who might you be excluding by your action, inaction, or your attitude? TODAY, what is one step you can take towards extending grace and love?
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This is an area I really struggled in a few years back. Ok, so I STILL struggle in it! However, God really dealt with me. Anytime I found myself thinking a negative comment about someone, I immediately prayed to be forgiven. I then prayed for that person that God would be with them and bless them in all they did. As I said, I still struggle, but I don’t find nearly as many negative comments creeping into my head as used to. Thank you for your words this morning.
Thank you so much for sharing your story and joining us today. Yes, we are all human and struggle with this! Thankfully, God’s mercy always wins over our judgement and impartiality. God Bless You!
You my dear are not alone. Isn’t it wonderful that we have not only a forgiving savior but a patient one as well.
Glory be to God
Thank you for joining us today. All glory be to Him!
Well, I am not perfect and trying to be humble, but – I’ve tried this!! I shop at a couple stores on my lunch break that have low income minority people shopping there. There was a time where I would look at there untidy, poorly dressed and dirty hands and just want to walk away and hurry and get my things checked out so I could go. I started to see them as Gods children too, (like we’re supposed to) and would smile, compliment their children, and them also. I started to see how this would make them smile back and hopefully they would feel good. This is all Jesus, and this study on James is such an encourager and reminder to all of us that He, who is God, walked the earth as a lowly man. And He, our God and Savior, loves us! Loves me!
How wonderful it is when we are know people after the Spirit of God.
Thank you for this word!! We try to encourage young women on our retreats to be more inclusive of the outsider… not concern themselves with the popular crowd. What a great example from Scripture!
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Convicted and guilty, convicted and forgiven, this one is mine. I long for a life-style and a position I once held that was taken away. I’ve been praying for restoration for 5 years. In doing so, am I not wanting favoritism. God thank YOU for convicting me and reminding me, “content,” is of YOU!
I find it sad that the body of believers need to be reminded of this – that I need to be reminded. Lately I have been rethinking some of my own thoughts & actions. In today’s world it’s not simply about caring for the poor & needy. It’s becoming an issue of how do we ‘love your neighbor as yourself’ when you know that neighbor means to do you harm? I am reminded that Jesus did it & that means I should too. That can be scary (Matt. 26:36-44; Luke 22:41-44). Sometimes we shy away from doing something or helping someone because we are concerned for our own safety. Many of us have faced ridicule from those who look down on us. Many of us try to help those in need, & some of us are the ones in need. We need to go back to Genesis -Deuteronomy to learn HOW to ‘love your neighbor as yourself’. May we grow in our understanding of & obedience to loving our neighbors as ourselves. And if any of us are faced with loving a scary neighbor, may we find our strength the same way Jesus did – in God our Father.