James- Day 16

Devotion for Monday, September 19th, 2011

1 My brethren, have not the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, with respect of persons.2 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;3 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:4 Are ye not then partial in yourselves, and are become judges of evil thoughts?

Here we are at the start of a new week with some really practical teaching.  Remember that James is speaking to churches in the first century.  He is not telling them to not have faith in Jesus.  He is telling them not to have faith in Jesus combined with respect of persons.  This topic “respect of persons” is what we will talk about over the next couple of days. “Respect of Persons” speaks to showing favoritism to one person over another.  Here James gives the example of showing preference to a rich person over a poor person.  Notice that he gives very specific examples, like giving the preferable seat to the rich people at gatherings.  “Respect of persons” doesn’t just happen to the rich.  It happens for many reasons.  Favoritism has been given because of everything from social status, economic status, race, age, or gender.  What are some other ways that people show favoritism? In God’s way of looking at the world a person is not valuable because of what they possess.  God loves all of mankind equally.  And He calls those who love Him to love each other without reservation.

Application:

Here is your application for today.  Answer these questions:  How is favoritism, or “respect of persons” shown in church?  in your home?  at your job?  at your school?  How have you shown favoritism?  Today, look for that person who you have overlooked and show kindness to them.

32 thoughts on “James- Day 16

  1. Mafalda Delienne

    Well people always have someone that they like more then another person okay I don’t know who to answer this questions or what to say 😦

  2. Mafalda Delienne

    Okay I got some help so this Passage is like saying oh my brothers and sisters do you not have the faith of god or the respect for persons and that like if you see a person like a rich guy and a poor guy and you tell the rich guy oh hey sit on that awesome table over there and then you tell the poor guy oh you can sit on the floor or on that nasty sit over there. So you are judging people badly and with evil by the way they look 🙂

    1. Mafalda Delienne

      I love this passage and,but at first I didn’t get it then I went to blue letter bible then I got it cuz it broke it down for me!!! 🙂

  3. Tristian Lechien

    Respect is shown in church by listening to what the pastor says what ur Sunday school teacher
    Says. Just being attentive. I think there has been a person that I have overlooked recently know like y r u wearing that and all that stuff. But today I’m gonna get to know her and learn about her and her type of style and all that awesome characteristics about everyone. 🙂 todays verses in the book of James is really good! 🙂 and we shouldnt be judging people by the way they look but by the way they r on the inside! Thts just sosososssosoossos important!!!!! 😀 and thts what I got out of today’s message!! 🙂

  4. One way I can think of favoritism showing in church is involvement. I think a lot of the time in a church, when people are involved I think others think, “Wow they let him get involved but not me? They ask him to help out all the time, but never bother thinking of me?” At Sonshine, there is always areas to get involved in! & Pastor Bales and Pastor Ben would lobe for you to get involved! Just ask! 🙂
    When I was growing up, Lindsey was always smarter then me! She always had straight a’s, got awards for her grades, she could read better then me and I was two grades ahead of her! My parents used to be so proud of her and would brag to everyone about how smart she was and how well she was doing in school. I always thought they loved Lindsey better. Now that I’ve grown up, Lindsey is still a little smarter and me, but I’ve learned to not let it get to me, because I’ve got my strengths and she has hers. Favoritism in siblings happens a lot! Especially when there are 4 of you! My parents love each one of us individually, and most importantly so does God!
    I don’t have a job, but if I did, I could see how favoritism could happen between the boss and his/her employees! One gets a raise and the others think wow they must be their favorite!
    My school definitely showed a lot of favoritism last year when we had 4 deaths happen. A teacher died at the beginning of the school year then a boy died from a car accident and then boy and a girl comitted suicide. They did more for the boy who got in the car accident and continue to this year then they did for the other 3 combined.. Although suicide is not something to promote, you could feel the favoritism. If I died would anyone even notice? I’m not so sure.
    I think we’ve all showed favoritism before whether it was intentional or tentional. I know I have. I didn’t mean to but found out later I hurt someone’s feelings and I felt really bad. Makes you think about would I want someone to act that way towards me? Of course not cause that would suck.. We all need to be kind to others and love one another not because one is better but because we’re all just as impotant in God’s eyes, so we should all be just as important in each others eyes as well!
    Today, I’m going to be kind to those I’ve overlooked and show them what Christ is really like. Loving, gracious, humble, almighty God! 🙂

      1. Laura

        wow Melanie. You made a lot of interesting observations. I would definitely notice!!!! love u!! I know what you mean though. U r talking about kids and teachers in school. I think you were probably right about those other kids. I have only heard about the one boy. Sad.

        1. Good to know ya’ll would miss me! Thank you! 🙂 and Kendra, that was very encouraging! Thanks! I hope to be making a difference in the youth group and you just reassured me! Thanks for that! 🙂 btw, i just made that illustration because it feels like if I got into a car accident tomorrow, I’m not so sure people would go crazy about my loss. This makes me think about things in two ways. 1. I need to be putting myself out more at my school so people really notice me and that I can be a good testimony, and 2. Favoritism really sucks. It makes me feel as though I’m not as worthy as maybe all the jocks for example. It’s not true though. We all matter the same in God’s eyes which is the greatest thing ever! 🙂

  5. Blake via

    This is a cool passage because it reminds us that we should not show favoritism we should show love to every body I no a lot of us me most of all we go in our groups and we tend to go with the kids that have more stuff. But God loves all of us even the ones that have lied, cheated, people that have hurt you he still loves then so we should love them:)

  6. Alexis Catapane

    This passage is very cool and definitely something I need to work on!
    I totally agree with what Melanie said about favoritism in the church!
    At home and at school is kinda the same thing for me because I’m homeschooled, and one time that sticks out in my mind when I felt like my parents were showing favoritism was when my brother got a tv. At the time I thought “I’m the oldest, so why didn’t I get one?!” But I realized it wasn’t that big of a deal. I’m sure at one time or another my siblings and I have felt like there has been favoritism with my parents.
    I think I have shown favoritism a lot, and it’s something that I need to work on. I think this kinda goes with the Invisible series we’re doing! Sometimes we show favoritism to a certain person, and overlook others because they’re not as cool, funny, pretty, etc.. But I’m sure that makes other people feel invisible, left out, or like there’s favoritism sometimes. I hope I can practice NOT showing favoritism today! 🙂

  7. Laura

    A lot of insightful comments today. In our society we have lots of labels. You especially see it in school. When you get right down to it everyone is the same. If you take away the clothes, accessories, and all the tools we use to look and present ourselves a certain way; we all end up looking the same. Without all of the outside coverings we wouldn’t be able to tell the “haves” from the “have-nots.” When you are born you don’t get a choice as to where or to whom you will born to. Some kids end up the sons and daughters of movies stars, and other kids end up sons and daughters of a drug dealer living in a bad neighborhood. Those kids, just like all of us, didn’t have a “say” in what our lives would be like. Our society definitely has a standard for what they think makes a person important. It is opposite of what Jesus thinks. We really do need to put this lesson into practice. We need to reach out to those around us that may seem a little different for what ever reason. People are people and all want to feel accepted and loved. You guys in school definitely have a lot of opportunities to put this in to practice. I teach this to my kids in other ways. For example at TKD or the soccer field. My parents always worked really hard at making sure they weren’t showing favoritism between me and my siblings. I try not to do this at home although I have been accused of it. Sometimes a parent just can’t win. Sometimes it seems like favoritism when it really isn’t. We need to respect each other as individuals and not expect that a person should have to act a certain way to be noticed or respected.

    1. Favoritism doesn’t mean that we treat everyone exactly the same because people are different from each other. Favoritism happens when we intentionally choose one person over another with little concern for either one. Our motivation for what we do should be love!

  8. I strongly agree with what Blake said!! Like when you grow up and have kids you cant just pick you favorit kid that is wrong and no matter what you should show love to every one even if it is that person you dont like!!!! 🙂

  9. Favoritism in church can be something that can hurt a lot of people. Youth group (from personal experience & my own opinion) used to be SO divided. Everyone had their favorites, but none of us all were really together or friends at all. Cliques were there.. & that is dangerous guys! We all had our favorites, i know i did. But over the past few months our youth group has done a complete 180!! I have never felt so loved, and closer to you guys then i do now. Our view of “Respect of Persons” has changed and i love it! 🙂
    There is endless amounts of favortism at my school, with teachers, friends, classes, etc. I am not favored by half my teachers, friends, or a part of my teachers favorite class of the day. I feel kinda like the poor person mentioned in James 2:3. I’m a sophomore, and the upperclassmen think they are the best people ever and treat me like im a loser. I dont play sports, so i’m not favored by coaches or even half my school cause “im not involved.” It’s really aggravating sometimes because even when i do the right thing it goes completely unoticed because i’m basically just another girl at school. Mel mentioned the deaths this past year. 4 people died.. and only 1 is remembered today. That kills me because even though they weren’t as popular, they shouldve got the same respect Marcus still gets. My heart aches for Dr.Thornton, Wesley, and Brittany because theyre lives weren’t “favored” like Marcus’ and that just proves how easy it is to have favorites.
    I am SO guilty of having favorites, because some people in our lives are very unlovable. But God loves everyone equally, and He payed the biggest debt!! Why do i have to be so selfish and not even talk to some people because i’m scared what’s gonna be said about me, or how awkward it could be? I wish i could be more Christ-like, and do things God would have me to do, instead of what i want to do!

    1. A couple of responses…

      1. I think you’re absolutely right about our youth group. I’m so glad that it’s not as much that way, but I think it will take continued effort to keep it this way. I think we need to work hard at making it as warm, welcome and inviting as possible.

      2. I think the temptation that you are going to have as someone who doesn’t feel like an “insider” at school is to show favoritism to other “outsiders” and to treat “insiders” like you feel like you are being treated. Work hard at being kind and loving to those who make you feel that way.

  10. This is something i really need 2 work on! Like alexis said how this kinda goes along w/ the series “the invisibles” I agree w/ her because w/ favortism some people can feel ‘invisible’ when others show there favorites and their not one of them.This reminds me of something.Say u show favoritism to everybody and ur like ‘ur my favorite’or ‘i don’t like u,ur weird’.thats really dangerous because one of those people that aren’t your favorite could be Jesus.Jesus can go around wearing something like a disguise and u probably won’t know it.In the bible it says to love ur enemies! It may be a hard thing 2 do but u can pray and ask for the strength and wisdom 2 do that! 🙂 p.s., can u guys pray 4 me and my mom please? were not feeling too great today 😦 See u guys Wednesday!! 🙂

  11. Ryan via

    This is definitely a place in my life that I need to work on because I can be partial to one person over another. One if the reasons it’s wrong is because God calls us to love everyone like ourselves. One way I can work on this is by going out of my way and meeting someone new and just being friendly to them.

  12. Megan

    Pretty awesome verses and some really great responses. There are numerous times I have felt like an outsider even as an adult. Sometimes when I am with family that we don’t see very often I feel like an outsider because I don’t know what is going on when they are talking. It’s a very hard thing sometimes. It’s a wonderful thing to be aware of those around you. No one likes feeling they are at the bottom of the food chain and we must treat each other as such. I can understand that we sometimes get along better with some people over others but we are allcalled to love one another. We dont have an option here when it comes to loving others. We are called to do it regardless of their “status” in life. God loves each person with the same amount of perfect love. We need to see people as God sees them and treat them as such.

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