Together in Christ: 'Show No Favoritism' — James 2:1-4

Tuesday, August 13, 2024

My dear brothers and sisters, how can you claim to have faith in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ if you favor some people over others?

For example, suppose someone comes into your meeting dressed in fancy clothes and expensive jewelry, and another comes in who is poor and dressed in dirty clothes. If you give special attention and a good seat to the rich person, but you say to the poor one, "You can stand over there, or else sit on the floor" — well, doesn't this discrimination show that your judgments are guided by evil motives?

— James 2:1-4 NLT

Key Thought

The story of the Bible reminds us that God loves and cares for all sorts of people regardless of their social standing. As Peter told Cornelius and those hearing the message of Christ:

"I see very clearly that God shows no favoritism. In every nation he accepts those who fear him and do what is right. [1]

The half-brother brother of Jesus, James, reminds us that prejudice doesn't just involve race and nationality but also includes discrimination based on social class, caste, and economic condition. We are all one in Christ. We are brothers and sisters of the King of Glory. [2] We are included in the family of God with full rights as God's children. [3] When we use worldly standards of judging people — their wealth, social status, race, or caste — James tells us clearly that we "guided by evil motives." If God has welcomed people into His family, we must receive and love them as our family on equal status as ourselves, regardless of the labels the world gives them.

So, dear brother or sister in Christ, let's make this a bit more real with a question for the Holy Spirit to use on our hearts to transform our behaviors. When did we last include someone of a different race, socioeconomic class, education level, or caste in our table fellowship, friendship, or close spiritual group? You see, loving all of our brothers and sisters is only theory until we make an effort to ensure it is real in our daily lives! Divisions based on human differences and titles are "controlled by [our] sinful nature" and reveal that we are "living like people of the world." So, dear friend in Jesus, we must both believe and practice James' words of correction in our divided world:

My dear brothers and sisters, how can you claim to have faith in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ if you favor some people over others?
[1] Acts 10:34-35.
[2] Hebrews 2:11-18.
[3] Romans 8:8, 14-17; Galatians 3:26-29, 4:4-7.

Today's Prayer

Forgive us, and forgive me, for the times we have discriminated against people by avoiding them or not including them in our closest Christian fellowship. Holy Spirit, please work on our hearts to include each other as brothers and sisters in Christ and not see each other by our physical, social, economic, racial, language, or dress differences. Help us, O God, to demonstrate Your love for all people by actively practicing this love in our fellowships. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.

Related Scripture Readings

  • Luke 9:46-48, 13:30, 22:24-27
  • Luke 10:25-42

Comments

Archived Facebook Comments

Other Devotionals from Heartlight for Tuesday, August 13, 2024

A daily passage of Scripture emphasizing praise to our God.
"The Lord always keeps his promises; he is gracious in all he does. The Lord helps the fallen and lifts those bent beneath their loads. The eyes of..."
A daily dose of Christian quotes to inspire and encourage.
"We evalutate others with a godlike justice, but we want them to evaluate us with a godlike compassion."
A daily devotional about the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives.
"[Jesus continued,] "The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone..."
A daily devotional featuring wise counsel found in Scripture.
"Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers, this should not be. Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring?"

Illustration

Illustration of James 2:1-4 NLT — My dear brothers and sisters, how can you claim to have faith in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ if you favor some people over others?

For example, suppose someone comes into your meeting dressed in fancy clothes and expensive jewelry, and another comes in who is poor and dressed in dirty clothes. If you give special attention and a good seat to the rich person, but you say to the poor one, "You can stand over there, or else sit on the floor" — well, doesn't this discrimination show that your judgments are guided by evil motives?

About This Devotional

Together in Christ is a daily devotional that focuses on what Scripture teaches about godly living in relationships.

'Together in Christ' is written by Phil Ware.

Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.