By: Doug Beyer, Atherton Resident since 2011

Scripture:(James 2:1-2)

“My friends, as believers in our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, you must never treat people in different ways according to their outward appearance. Suppose a rich man wearing a gold ring and fine clothes comes to your meeting, and a poor man in ragged clothes also comes.”

Questions for reflection and application:

  • How does my faith in Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, influence my relationships?
  • How will I treat people in different social classes today?

Thought for today:

Do any of us look the way we did in our 20’s & 30’s? Do we recall the times when we were on the outside of the party looking in? Can we remember how much of our personal world we owe to people and circumstances over which we had absolutely no control? Discrimination against the poor and needy calls into question whether you “really believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of Glory?” An honest appraisal of ourselves reflects that we are all charity cases; totally dependent of God’s welfare. James tells us that when we see someone in ragged clothes, disabled, or struggling, our first thought must be: “There but for the grace of God go I?”

The world’s attitude is “pay back.” It has a positive and a negative side. Negatively, it means “an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth” (Matthew 5:38). Positively, it means “I do you a favor so you will do me a favor.” In either case it is pay back. But the gospel of our glorious Lord Jesus Christ is not pay back; it is pay forward. It is doing favors for people who are in no position to return the favor to you (See Luke 14:12-14).