In today’s reading I am up to James 2:1-13. The title grabbed my attention straight away – “A warning against prejudice”.
Verse 1 says, “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?” It is a pretty straight forward and clear reminder not to favour one person over another.
In verses 2-4 it gives the example of favouring richer well dressed people over poor people. It talks about giving richer people preferential seating, while the poor sit on the floor.
I have experienced this myself while shopping. When I went to one shop dressed in my work clothes of a shirt and tie I would be well attended. When I was unshaven and wore my dirty gardening clothes the next day I was almost ignored.
It really showed me how we can look upon people’s clothing (or skin colour, age, gender) and make value decisions based on appearance. This is totally against what this passage and the Bible as a whole talks about.
God sees everyone as special, as created in His image and with a purpose. There is not one person in this world that Jesus did not die for. As a result we can’t discriminate and treat others differently.
Verse 8 of the text brings it into focus. It says, “Yes indeed, it is good when you obey the royal law as found in the Scriptures: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”
It is all about loving your neighbour as yourself. Treating people equally and with respect. And treating others how you would like to be treated. Let us all purpose in our hearts to treat all people equally today.