Skip to main content

James 2:2-4: A Man Wearing A Gold Ring . . . A Poor Man In Shabby Clothing


James 2:2–4
[2] For if a man wearing a gold ring and fine clothing comes into your assembly, and a poor man in shabby clothing also comes in, [3] and if you pay attention to the one who wears the fine clothing and say, “You sit here in a good place,” while you say to the poor man, “You stand over there,” or, “Sit down at my feet,” [4] have you not then made distinctions among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts? (ESV)

There continues to be a plague that infiltrates the Church called the "prosperity Gospel." Yes, I know that sounds harsh calling it a plague. I was actually trying to be gentle. Proponents of this so-called Gospel promote the notion that if you are truly following God you will be rich, healthy, and essentially better than your brothers or sisters who lack the level of faith that you have attained.

This foolish teaching would surely fly in the face of what the Apostle James tells us in this passage. We are not to value the rich and prosperous one in our midst. Rather, the very opposite is true. If we see a person come into our church in shabby clothing and treat them less than our prosperous members we are called judges with evil thoughts! I suspect that James did not attend a megachurch that was filled with the teaching of the prosperity gospel. He must have been lacking in faith. I am being facetious, obviously.

Why do we tend to attach so much value to those who are rich, while ignoring the poor? I believe it is a reflection of our own greedy hearts. We desire material wealth that will fade away. God offers us the riches of knowing Christ Jesus. In our foolishness we choose that which has no eternal value over that which has real and lasting value. It is because our hearts are wrong that we show favoritism. If we were to see things with God's heart we would see that all are made in God's image and are to be loved and respected equally.

If you belong to a church you should carefully evaluate how you treat one another. Are there some who get treated better than others? Does your pastor and/or staff have special seating better than the rest of the congregation? Does the parking lot have a Pastor's Only Parking space a few feet from the church building? Sometimes there are subtle messages of favoritism that need to be addressed.

God does not show favoritism. He offers his grace to people of every race, gender, nation, and financial status. Ask him to help you to love like he loves, with no favoritism.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Romans 8:18: For I Consider That The Sufferings Of This Present Time Are Not Worth Comparing

Romans 8:18 [18] For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. (ESV) Perspective. What an important word. Let's be honest. We do not like the idea of suffering. We will do almost anything to avoid any kind of suffering. Some churches have gone so far as to preach against the idea of suffering, declaring it to not be a part of the true believer's life. Paul is not shy about the topic. Paul uses the sufferings of this present time as a means to consider the greater glory that awaits us. Perspective. Paul is not in any way attempting to diminish our suffering. A view toward eternity puts our suffering in a proper understanding. Yes, our suffering is terrible. In the grand scheme of eternity it is not even worth comparison. Maybe you are thinking that Paul does not know what he is talking about when it comes to suffering. In 2 Corinthians 11 Paul describes countless beatings, often near death,

Romans 15:14: I Myself Am Satisfied About You, My Brothers

Romans 15:14 [14] I myself am satisfied about you, my brothers, that you yourselves are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge and able to instruct one another. (ESV) The Apostle Paul was a strong man. His words to the churches in all of his letters are full of doctrinal truth and instruction that are not for the faint of heart. In this letter to the church at Rome he had to correct them in their understanding of how to deal with issues that could potentially divide them. Paul had never even been to Rome yet. He had not met these believers. Paul is telling the church at Rome in this verse that the reason they were able to receive his strong words was because of their spiritual maturity. He declares that they are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge and able to instruct one another. This is an incredible compliment that Paul would not offer to every church. This concept of being filled with goodness and knowledge speaks of a group of believers who had listened to t

Romans 15:22: This Is The Reason Why I Have So Often Been Hindered From Coming To You.

Romans 15:22 [22] This is the reason why I have so often been hindered from coming to you. (ESV) Paul was quite the traveler. As an Apostle to the Gentiles his task was literally to take the Gospel to the entire known world at the time. Many of the Epistles that Paul writes are letters written to places where he has already been. He preached the Gospel, many were saved, churches were planted, and Paul moved on to a new area. Rome was a place that Paul had never been to. He writes this entire letter to people whom he had never met. As an Apostle to the Gentiles he wanted to give them the good solid teaching they needed to grow in their faith. Likely, someone who was converted on the Day of Pentecost went back to Rome and first shared the Gospel there. Paul says that he has been often hindered from coming to Rome. He could have argued that all kinds of circumstances would not permit him to get to Rome. Paul would not have blamed circumstances. He would have understood that it w