January 21, 2019
My brothers and sisters, believers in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ must not show favoritism. 2 Suppose a man comes into your meeting wearing a gold ring and fine clothes, and a poor man in filthy old clothes also comes in. 3 If you show special attention to the man wearing fine clothes and say, “Here’s a good seat for you,” but say to the poor man, “You stand there” or “Sit on the floor by my feet,” 4 have you not discriminated among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts?
5 Listen, my dear brothers and sisters: Has not God chosen those who are poor in the eyes of the world to be rich in faith and to inherit the kingdom he promised those who love him? 6 But you have dishonored the poor. Is it not the rich who are exploiting you? Are they not the ones who are dragging you into court? 7 Are they not the ones who are blaspheming the noble name of him to whom you belong?
I am not a famous person, nor am I widely known, but I am well known in some circles. It’s fascinating when I find myself in a setting where a lot of people know me. I am treated with honor and respect and many people will want to talk with me. More often than not I find myself in situations where I am virtually unknown. No one seeks me out for conversation. People don’t care much to meet me or interact. I am the same person in both situations yet I am treated quite differently.
We all do it. We pay more attention to the people who tend to increase our status and importance or who could do something for us. We pay less attention to the people who can’t help us, who lack the importance or wealth or wherewithal to do anything for us.
You find out the most about a person by the way they treat other people who they perceive can’t do anything for them. Observe how people treat waiters in restaurants. If you are with a person and they are unkind to the waiter, chances are they aren’t a very good person. The way we treat those we deem unimportant says a lot more about us than it does about them.
Why didn’t God come to us as a rich person? God could have been born into any family in the entire world. Why did he choose to be born into a poor family? Why did God choose to come to us as a person without influence or power or fame? Have you ever asked yourself these questions?
My brothers and sisters, believers in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ must not show favoritism.
When God became a person, he chose to become a nobody. If there is anything we can learn from this it would seem to be the importance of treating those we perceive as nobodies as though they were somebody and handling people we consider unimportant as especially important. It’s especially fascinating when we consider the way Jesus framed the final judgment.
“Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’ Matthew 25:34-36
Let’s leave it there today.
God our Father, I want to be a real Christian. Reveal to me how self-interested I am in the way I treat other people. Expose the ways I show favoritism in order to benefit myself. Open my eyes and my heart to the people I perceive can do nothing for me and teach me to love them. We pray in Jesus name. Amen.
1. What is it about us that makes us want to be connected to important people?
2. Do you ever find yourself wanting to let other people know of your importance or your accomplishments or what important people you know?
3. Do you treat wealthy people different than the way you treat poor people? What practical steps can you take today to change this approach to people?
For the Awakening,