October 27, 2018

James 2:1… My brothers, show no partiality as you hold the faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory.

            Have you ever been treated poorly by somebody? Was it ever because you weren’t rich enough? Or perhaps you didn’t look like you belonged with the group? I have, and the damage is long term. Following the immediate feeling of rejection, there is the ongoing feeling of anxiety about possible future rejection.

That is a debilitating anxiety. Anticipation of rejection is nasty. Rejection is deadly. Don’t threaten people with it.

            God does not reject us.

Hebrews 4:16… Let us then draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in the time of need.  

            This gives a backhanded slap to a modern malady… cliques. It is rewarding to belong to a clique; it is devastating to be standing outside looking in. If you find yourself in a clique, open the door to the outside. Always look around for struggling individuals. Find out if you are part of the struggle. Make adjustments as necessary.

            James speaks specifically to Christianity. “…As you hold the faith in our Lord…”  One would hope that Christians would never reject anybody. But, we do. Karla and I planted a church, in Oregon, before we moved down here to Arizona. I remember an unhealthy feeling that I had to eliminate. “We can’t build a church with that kind of person.” If someone was unmotivated, I could not see how they could help us build. Starting a church is  a lot of work and requires a great deal of sacrifice and diligence. I looked for people who could give us that. I suspect I did not greet everyone with the same open armed embrace. I was in error.

            Jesus chose disciples from all across the spectrum of humanity. Peter, James, and John were active fishermen. Matthew was active, collecting taxes. But, Nathaniel was possibly sitting under a tree.(John 1:45-48) Jesus did not define His choice of disciples by certain activities or expressions of motivation.

            Do, we, inadvertently, judge people? Jesus would say, “Don’t.”