Are you with the rich person?

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. 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,”  have you not discriminated among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts?

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?  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?  Are they not the ones who are blaspheming the noble name of him to whom you belong?

If you really keep the royal law found in Scripture, “Love your neighbor as yourself,” you are doing right. But if you show favoritism, you sin and are convicted by the law as lawbreakers. For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it.  James 2:2-10(NIV)

Do you want to be next to people that make you look good?  Do you show favoritism?  Do you love others as yourself?  Are you willing to be in second place?

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1 Response

  1. The Spindrifter

    If you want to see what is really in a person’s heart as a Christian, or just as a human, show up at their assembly dressed down, dirt poor, or different.

    I am a Goth at heart. Some might call me ‘Neo-Gothic’ or even stretch it to “Emo” because I also like bright colors, but in my heart of hearts, I have always been dark Goth. Sometimes I show up at assembly completly Gothed out, and other times it’s more subtle. On days when I feel particularly expressive, I will even wear eyeliner and pancake white, or black nail polish, or all of the above. It is *amazing* how very differently one is treated when one is being yourself, instead of conforming to the pre-conceived “ideal” of what a typical Christian should look like. Is it any wonder that it is so very hard to get anyone from the broken outside world to come in? It breaks my heart how the Goth community is looked down upon and treated by mainstream Evangelical Protestants. I once attended Mass (not my thing, but I was there, so I went) being held by a Catholic Priest in a coffee house in downtown 5-Points. The kids wouldn’t come to church, so the Church came to them! Why can’t the rest of professing Christianity be this accepting and seeking of the lost, hurting, and broken among us?

    Fortunately my current assembly isn’t quite as typical in acceptance issues as other congregations that I have been a member of in the past, but then again, all of those churches died, and mine is at least growing. They still have a long way to go, and it breaks my heart at some of the problems they had in the recent past with being accepting, but I still have faith that as long as there are a few who are willing to be the example to others, then maybe there is still hope for the rest.

    To the Judean first, and then the Gentile (outsiders). I can’t remember the last time we had Jews for Jesus come along for a talk, but at least this outsider is willing to make the effort. I hope that others will too. The ones who show up that look like they don’t belong are the ones who need love the most. Remember that.

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