July 19, 2021
Scripture: My brothers, show no partiality as you hold the faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory. James 2:1 ESV
Observation: As the text continues, James cites a particular example of favoritism toward the wealthy while dishonoring the poor. It’s a dynamic that has continued through the centuries and is unlikely to change until Christ’s return. Still, as followers of Christ, we are called to honor the poor, to restore dignity to the destitute.
Takeaway: While handouts can help alleviate suffering, they can also feed into the “vicious cycle of poverty” and demoralize the recipient. What’s the better approach? As the ancient proverb states: “Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime.” But this requires an investment of time. It requires us to serve those who are disadvantaged as our equals—which is exactly what Christ did for us. Being in the form of God, he did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped but emptied himself by taking the form of a servant (Philippians 2:6-7). Resultantly, he restored our dignity by making us one with him where there is no partiality based on ethnicity, gender, or station in life (Galatians 3:28).
Prayer: Father God, grant us the grace to discern where we show partiality and instead restore dignity toward those who are overlooked. Amen.
Rev. Gordon Green, M.Div., M.A. Counseling