October 29, 2008

Playing Favorites

Yes, we are slowly making progress through the book of James. I spend days pondering the challenges that he offers here. Thank you for your patience.

James chapter 2 examines our heart by watching our actions. Favoritism, or prejudice as we call it today, is a subtle temptation. We can look down on someone for having more resources than we do or for having less. We can be irritated that someone has higher standards that make "us" feel guilty. We can be prideful about a family that lets their kids watch "that" show.

James 2:8-9: If you really keep the royal law found in Scripture, "Love your neighbor as yourself,"you are doing right. But if you show favoritism, you sin and are convicted by the law as lawbreakers. The law will always judge according to God's holy standard; never does it compare us to other people. We do. We feel more righteous than other people. We feel more kind, more forgiving, more open minded than the guy we are judging. What a trap!

James closes with this warning: give mercy because you need mercy. Speak and act as those who are going to be judged by the law that gives freedom, because judgment without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful. Mercy triumphs over judgment! (2:12-13) Aren't we grateful for that?

In order to reduce and prevent favoritism and judgement from creeping into our lives, let's work on increasing the mercy that we offer each day.

1 comment:

  1. Ouch! That's a good word. I was just having a similar conversation with God about that same attitude this morning.