Tuesday, February 13: Have you not discriminated among yourselves?
Relying heavily on the teachings of Jesus and especially drawing from the Sermon on the Mount, James, in his New Testament letter, asserts that true faith is more than an intellectual pursuit of ideas. Instead, real faith results in action. James writes a stream of wise teachings that can easily seem like a bucket of ice water in your face. Watch for the Holy Spirit to call you to take next steps in activating your faith, helping you encounter and better follow Jesus to bless a broken world.
Read James 2:1-7
My brothers and sisters, believers in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ must not show favoritism. 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?
We can easily be prejudiced against certain groups of people, and we can also be partial toward other groups—especially ones we’re part of—treating them better than we treat others. The example James gives is bias toward the rich and against the poor, and he points out the actions that reveal prejudiced hearts. Can you be honest enough with yourself to identify those you're prejudiced against?
Do you need to ask forgiveness from people and groups you’ve treated with prejudice? Do you also need to ask the forgiveness of the One who died for and loves all people?