Remember how James starts this letter? He calls himself a servant of God and Christ. Since then, he calls us his beloved brothers. We are equals in Christ Jesus, having received the favor of the Almighty through the atonement of Christ.
So, as brothers and sisters in God’s family, how could we judge each other by external appearances? Who are we trying to impress? James reminds us that God has blessed the poor with rich faith. Some of us, being free from worldly possessions, have leaned into Christ and learned the joy of steadfast faith. As C. S. Lewis says, “He who has God and everything else has no more than he who has God only,” except the one with everything is more tempted to forget the one who gave it all to him.
- Do you know anyone with more wealth or influence than you? Do you treat them with more favor than other people?
- Do you know anyone whom you consider poor? Do you treat them with less respect than others?
- Do we avoid people of lower social standing because we don’t know how to deal with them? Is that the same partiality James forbids?
- Do you consider yourself rich in faith? What would you change about yourself to become this way?