James 2:1 “My brethren, do not hold your faith in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ with an attitude of personal favoritism.”
We live in a prejudiced world. Though our country has worked hard to eliminate discrimination in its outward manifestations, no one can erase the sinful tendencies of the human heart. Watching our words carefully is not enough. There must be a heart change. God is not a respecter of persons and those who belong to Him should not be either.
Working in the auction business I often come across some interesting memorabilia. Monday our team spent the day recording and photographing items for an upcoming online auction. There were numerous old advertising signs. One that intrigued me reminded me of the discrimination that was prominent at one time in our country. The sign read, “Help Wanted – No Irish Need Apply.” That was a shocker for a family with the name of Sheridan. Who would have been so prejudiced to hang a metal sign like that outside their door?
We may think that we have come so far, but the human heart is still desperately wicked. We may pride ourselves on acceptance, but deep down we all carry thoughts and attitudes about others that are not pleasing to God.
James told his readers to watch out for discrimination. He warned that if two men came into their church assembly, one with a gold ring and fine clothes and the other poor and disheveled, not to pay attention to the one and ignore the other. They were not to be judges of outward appearance only as this would prove their evil motives. God looks at the heart and has chosen the poor of this world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom of God, which He promised to those who love Him.
There are many ways to disguise discrimination in the church. We must search our hearts to see if we have greater respect for those who are in executive positions over those who have blue-collar jobs. Do we encourage full-time church workers or foreign missionaries more than those who are living a committed Christian life before unbelievers in a hostile secular work environment? Are we drawn towards those who have advanced degrees or a large paycheck? These are forms of discrimination that our Father dislikes.
God is not a respecter of persons. He searches hearts to see who is completely committed to Him. His thoughts towards all His children are more than the sand on the seashore. And He died for each and every sinner regardless of race, skin color, financial security, church position, clothing type, or higher education.
God has put out the call for service to everyone who believes in His name. All in the body of Christ are loved! All are needed! All are wanted! And you can be assured that all God’s children are welcome to apply!