Wednesday, February 18, 2015


My mom is the Queen of Equality. She has always been very attentive in giving her children and grandchildren an equal amount whether that be attention or gifts. Even for birthdays, she sets a dollar amount and we all get gifts within that budgeted amount. Even though we have teased her over the years that this person or that person was her favorite, there were no favorites. We were all equally blessed with her love and attention. She has always been an example to me about how to treat people, even when they are unlovely. 

So why am I telling you all of this? 

My heart was smote this week during my Bible Study of James. Even though I had read this before, God reminded me of a subject that we often skip over:  favoritism.

This is the passage that spoke to me:
James 2:1-7 "My brethren, have not the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, with respect of persons. For if there come unto your assembly a man with a gold ring, in goodly apparel, and there come in also a poor man in vile raiment; And ye have respect to him that weareth the gay clothing, and say unto him, Sit thou here in a good place; and say to the poor, Stand thou there, or sit here under my footstool: Are ye not then partial in yourselves, and are become judges of evil thoughts? Hearken, my beloved brethren, Hath not God chosen the poor of this world rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which he hath promised to them that love him? But ye have despised the poor. Do not rich men oppress you, and draw you before the judgment seats? Do not they blaspheme that worthy name by the which ye are called?

First off, it's not wrong to be rich. This passage is not preaching on communism. It's also not teach us that you have to be poor to get to heaven. It's teaching on our response to people. 

It's teaching us to respect all people, rich, poor, clean, dirty, sinful or righteous.

Over and over again in the Bible, God teaches us that He is NO respecter of persons.

Acts 10:34-35 "... Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons: But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him."

So what does He respect, or better yet, accept?

Those who fear Him and are righteous are the ones that are accepted by Him.

He respects the heart, not status.

This is the place to where we ultimately need to get. As a teacher for over 10 years, I have received many gifts and notes. I have had some children who were just angels, running up to me and giving me hugs. I have had children who were dressed to the "t" and others whose clothes were stained and torn. I have had children who had a bad odor and some who smelled like they had just gotten out of a clean bath. There were some who were disrespectful and some who readily obeyed. I have worked with parents (of these kids) who were approachable and helpful while others were hard to deal with.

The little girl, with the clean pretty dress, a smile on her face and a ready hug for you. Yes, it's easy to love her.

The church member who remembered your birthday and bought you a little gift. Yes, it's easy to seek them out and love on them.

The dear lady who dotes on your family, watches your kids and gives you a needed break. It's really easy to love her.

The girlfriend who texts you and checks in on you. You love her!

What about the child who acts out in your class while you are teaching?   His family doesn't really seem to care about him, he has a weird odor and his clothes are all torn and stained. Do you even like him? Will you sit next to him? Will you be paying more attention to his odor or to his tender heart that needs to be reached?

What about the church member who always has a negative comment or story? What about the gossip that has a story about everyone including you? Do you love her? (I'm not saying you love her sin, but you love her as a person.)

What about that rich church member that has lots of money and always seems to be able to help out? They are always dressed nicely and give freely. We want to keep them, don't we?

Do we want to keep that same poor family that struggles and struggles to pay their bills, often asking for a handout?  Do we really care about them?

Now, it might not be $$$$ that impresses us.  It might be power, talent, smarts, or style. However "At the end of the day, what impresses us dictates us ...and we devalue those who don't" - BM

Maybe you are all about reaching out to the ____________ and so you overlook ___________. (Fill in the blanks.) I would encourage you to make a list of what impresses you and make sure that you are not excluding people who lack those things.

I love this: "Picture a greeter so thoroughly embracing the one poorly dressed that no one else can smell a thing besides Christ. Love covers." - BM

Romans 2:11" For there is no respect of persons with God" What about you? Do you have favorites? Your ONLY favorite should be Jesus and everyone else should get agape love.

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