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?
5 Hearken, my beloved brethren, Hath not God chosen the poor of this world rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which he hath promised to them that love him?
6 But ye have despised the poor. Do not rich men oppress you, and draw you before the judgment seats?
7 Do not they blaspheme that worthy name by the which ye are called?
8 If ye fulfil the royal law according to the scripture, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself, ye do well:
9 But if ye have respect to persons, ye commit sin, and are convinced of the law as transgressors.
- the first verse there seems confusing to me in the KJV. The NIV says "My brothers, as believers in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ, don't show favoritism." I'm kind of thinking now where it says to "have not the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, with respect of persons." We have a certain faith in Jesus, we expect certain things from Him. We cannot have such expectations from people. Makes a little more sense to me this way.
- The next few verses are quite self explanatory to me, and are summed up nicely in the first verse of the NIV translation... DON'T show favortism.
We are quite quick to judge sometimes. It's easy, especially in larger churches, to look down on those that are not dressed as nicely as others... or just at people that don't "fit in".
I went to a large church when I was younger, and when I did manage to dress nicely I would get compliments on how I looked. Why? I was not there to look nice. I was there to worship.
Besides all that... God chose us, as poor and shabby looking as we were. He did not seek out the rich and famous.
- "8 If ye fulfil the royal law according to the scripture, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself, ye do well:
9 But if ye have respect to persons, ye commit sin, and are convinced of the law as transgressors."
If you can love your neighbor(who is?) as yourself, you're doing well. But if you show favortism... if you seek out people neat in appearance and well to do, and avoid those that aren't. You are falling quite short of that golden rule, and are committing a sin.
I believe up to this point, to sum it up a bit, though it does not appear to me that you should seek out only the poor and poorly dressed, just do not show favoritism. People are people to me. Appearances should mean nothing.
actually, I'd like to make mention of something that is sort of an example. I talk with many Christians online. Some of them are Bikers, meaning they wear leather jackets and ride motorcycles. There are many people out there that would avoid this sort of person and even judge them. There are many, in many churches, that if one of these bikers was visiting a church for the first time and at the same church a nicely dressed business man was visiting also, many would be quick to welcome the business man and many would think twice about talking to the biker.
To clarify, this is not all churches. There are many that are very welcoming to all people, but there are plenty that would judge in such a way.
But let me tell you... some of these bikers I have talked with have been some of the most on fire for Christ people I have ever met. Their passion for their ministry just blows me away.
Yet I can also say that there are plenty of well dressed men attending churches who's ministry is stagnant.
I'm sure you've all hear that phrase "you can't judge a book by its cover"
well, with books and people, sometimes you really can, but with people you should never try to. You cannot see a person's heart by looking at their appearance.
Lord please help us to be a good neighbor. Let us not judge one another by outward appearances. Remind us of the poor state we were in when you rescued us. Help us to seek out all those that are in need.
I pray this passage reach someone that may need to hear these words today.
In Jesus precious name.
A new subject or passage each week for all to discuss.
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