Tag Archives: the book of James

“My brothers and sisters, believers in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ must not show favoritism.”  (James 2:1, NIV)

There is nothing more natural than choosing favorites.

However, as disciples of Jesus, we are to take our natural life and — through obedience to God — create a spiritual reality.

The reality referred to in today’s scripture verse is a reality where persons are not evaluated and elevated by the clothes they are wearing.

Persons who are obedient to spiritual laws have chosen to live in a spiritual reality.  This does not mean being ignorant of natural preferences.  It does mean being scrupulously obedient to God when He requires that our natural choices reflect a spiritual perspective.

Beware of preferring others by how they are dressed.  Kings can dress like paupers; and paupers like kings.  – Luther

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“With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness.  Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing.  My brothers and sisters, this should not be.”  (James 3:9-10, NIV)

When I read today’s scripture, I think of cartoonist Charles M. Schulz, who famously wrote these words for Linus: “I love mankind. . . It’s PEOPLE I can’t stand!!”

Yet, “people” bear God’s image and likeness — the same image and likeness imprinted within each one of us.

When tempted to curse others, do you see a reflection of yourself; do you see the image and likeness of our Lord and Father?  To see others (and ourselves) as God sees is the antidote for unkind words, and judgmental attitudes.  – Luther

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“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.”  (James 2:12-13, NIV)
The disciple of Jesus should endeavor to be merciful in all of his or her judgments because the measure by which we judge others shall be used to judge us; and the mercy we extend to others shall be returned to us.
This does not mean that we should ever excuse evil, or turn a blind eye to wrong-doers.  Yet, even the harshest judgments — rightfully made — can be tempered with mercy if sympathy is shown, and if the doorway to reconciliation is left open.
The disciple of Jesus speaks and acts as one whose words and deeds shall be called to account in both this world, and in the world to come.  – Luther

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