The first verse of the second chapter of James’ letter is the theme for verses 1-12. James says, “Don’t show favoritism.” Then he unpacks the statement by taking us to church. He introduces us to two visitors: One, a fine, respectable man wearing a Rolex and an Armani suit. Two, a man off the street wearing “shabby” clothes. How the church welcomes these two visitors will speak volumes about the heart of the church.
Dr. Tony Evans once said, “Sunday at 11 am is the most segregated hour in America.” Dr. Evans had racial segregation in mind when he spoke those words. I would add socio-economic segregation to Dr. Evans’ list.
How do we overcome the racial and socio-economic barriers that we have built in our churches? I think James gives us the key in what precedes his command not to show favoritism. James writes, “My brothers, as believers in our glorious Jesus Christ…” If we truly believe in Jesus, then our beliefs will alter the way that we live our daily lives. If there was ever a person who transcended race, culture, and class–it was Jesus. If we follow Jesus then He will most certainly lead us into the lives of others whose lives are quite different than our own.
My prayer today, Lord, is that You will give me eyes to see others in the same way You see them.