Word for the day by Christian Education Forum
The Hindrances to the Kingdom of God
“But if you show favoritism, you sin and are convicted by the law as lawbreakers.”
Today’s passage talks about partiality or favoritism which is common in every human society, and which is against the values of the Kingdom of God. We, as children of God, are called to yield to a higher standard of living, but often we are polluted by the ways of the world. It is a great honor and privilege to live the disciplined life as God’s people. James talks about practical aspects of Christian life, which are hindrances to the Kingdom of God.
No Partiality: Life according to the Christian faith and life according to the worldly standards are in sharp contrast. The world gives preferential treatment to the mighty – the rich and the powerful .But the faith which originates in Jesus Christ disavow distinctions based upon birth, race, sex, property, etc. (Gal.3: 28). Partiality/favoritism is sin. “But if you show favoritism, you sin and are convicted by the law by the law-breakers”. James, as an example of partiality, writes about paying special attention to the rich while ignoring the poor (v-2, 3). To James partiality is sin. By showing partiality/favoritism to the wealthy and denying justice to the poor, we may deprive the poor man of his living, thus in effect killing him. God is impartial. So we need to be impartial in ways of life.
Do in Love: Love of God necessarily flows down to the love of the neighbor. You’re your neighbor is not an option, but a command. To James, the love of the neighbor as oneself is the royal law according to the Scripture. Love of the neighbor means acting towards others with their good, their well-being, their fulfillment, as the primary motivation and goal of our deeds. To Jesus, neighbor is not the one who live closer to us , but any human being in need. Why should we love others? Because God loves us and loves all. “Judgment without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful. Mercy triumphs over judgment.” Therefore, what God expects from us is to be with mercy and love to others.
The society in which we live has various distinctions and divisions. The relationships become very weak, day by day. Love and mercy are missing. People become more individualistic. No care for others. In such a society we are called to be God’s people- people without favoritism and with love and mercy.
Prayer: Gracious Lord, Help us to live a life according to your will. Banish from us the spirit of partiality. Fill us with the spirit of love and mercy. May our relationships, with you and others, be to glorify Your Kingdom? In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.
Thought for the Day: Neighbor is not the one who live closer to us , but any human being in need.
Rev. Kochukoshy Abraham, Trinity MTC, Houston