October 13 – How to Treat the Rich and the Poor – James 2
The book of James was written to the believer, and is a great source as a guide book to the Christian life. The phrase “respect of persons” can be found in Colossians 3:25, Romans 2:11, and Ephesians 6:9. Each of these points to the fact that God does not show favoritism. We sin by respecting only certain persons and imply that God did not make each man and woman equal. Anyone who shows favoritism is guilty of having evil thoughts according to verse 4. Verse six points out specifically the difference the poor were being treated from the rich. We are not to give privileges or show favoritism to any group of people as well. Some have fallen into the trap of overcompensating. We have swung the pendulum too far the other way to give privileges to the poor. We are to feed and clothe the poor to meet their needs, but it is not good to provide them with steaks, 60” TV’s, or cell phones. When we do this, not only are we rewarding laziness showing, but we are also showing “respect of persons.” We are not to show favoritism to the rich over the poor, but we are also not to show favoritism to the poor over the rich. This entire chapter is packed full of practical and applicable guidelines to rectify social justice, but it will be no help to us unless we apply what is written.