3.10.2009

James 2:1-5

"My brothers, as believers in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ, don't show favoritism. Suppose a man comes into your meeting wearing a gold ring and fine clothes, and a poor man in shabby clothes also comes in. 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...'Sit on the floor by my feet,' have you not discriminated among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts? Listen, my dear brothers: 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?"

1. In what areas do you show favoritism? Are you more comfortable around white, clean, upper middle class people? Does a person's race affect the way you look at him? Are certain races more likely to bother you than others (i.e., Middle Eastern)?

2. Who do you think is considered "poor in the eyes of the world"?

3. What else does the Bible say about rich and poor people? (See Exodus 23:11, Psalm 49:12, Proverbs 23:5, Zechariah 7:10, Matthew 19: 22-24, Mark 10:21, 2 Cor. 8-9, 1 Tim. 6:9)

4. Are you particular about who you show mercy to? Do you find yourself showing mercy only to those you like?

5. James 2:13 says, "Mercy triumphs over judgment." What do you think this means? How does this make you feel?

Think of a time when God was merciful to you and showed you favor when you didn't deserve it. Give him thanks and pray for him to help you not to show favoritism, but to care equally for all people.

1 comment:

  1. Kristi Murphey3/10/2009

    1. In what areas do you show favoritism? Are you more comfortable around white, clean, upper middle class people? Does a person's race affect the way you look at him? Are certain races more likely to bother you than others (i.e., Middle Eastern)?
    I don't purposely try to show favoritism, but I guess my actions show that I prefer to be around people who are most like me. I do prefer to be around "clean" people, but their race and social standing isn't a factor with me. I don't choose friends based on race, but more on common interests and our ability to connect with one another. I'm attracted to people who are positive, friendly, and who share common values and morals ~ no matter what their race may be. I don't believe I'm bothered by one race more than another, but I am more comfortable with people who speak English. I like to be able to understand one another.

    2. Who do you think is considered "poor in the eyes of the world"?
    In the eyes of the world, people who don't have many material possessions are poor. People who can't afford popular name brand clothes, expensive cars, nice homes, etc. would be considered poor.

    3. What else does the Bible say about rich and poor people? (See Exodus 23:11, Psalm 49:12, Proverbs 23:5, Zechariah 7:10, Matthew 19: 22-24, Mark 10:21, 2 Cor. 8-9, 1 Tim. 6:9)
    Exodus 23:11 encourages believers to share their food with the poor; Psalm 49:12 reminds us that despite wealth, we're still mortal beings ~ we can't purchase a longer life; Zechariah 7:10 tells us not to oppress widows and orphans; in Matthew 19:22-24 Jesus himself teaches us that it is very difficult for a rich man to give his heart and soul for God's kingdom; Mark 10:21 Jesus teaches us that by giving to the poor and needy we are storing for ourselves treasures in heaven; 2 Corinthians 8:9 reminds us that Jesus gave up everything He had so that through Him we could become rich; and 1 Timothy 6:9 tells us that when we seek to become rich we fall into temptation and harmful desires that lead to ruin and destruction.

    4. Are you particular about who you show mercy to? Do you find yourself showing mercy only to those you like?
    I tend to show more mercy to people I know. If a know a person's story, I tend to be more merciful. I would probably show more mercy to a neighbor who is in need than the begger on the street corner.

    5. James 2:13 says, "Mercy triumphs over judgment." What do you think this means? How does this make you feel?
    I think this may mean that mercy is what will help win souls to Christ and will point people to God. Judgement and condemnation will push people away and cause them to not desire to seek God.

    Kristi

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