5 Listen, my beloved brothers, has not God chosen those who are poor in the world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom, which he has promised to those who love him? 6 But you have dishonored the poor man. Are not the rich the ones who oppress you, and the ones who drag you into court? 7 Are they not the ones who blaspheme the honorable name by which you were called?
These verses are interesting because James is making the case that we should not be partial to folks based on their status in society. It does seem that we do esteem folks that are affluent or successful. We often are more apt to listen to someone with money and connections opposed to the poor person or the down trodden. James is cautioning us against this kind of behavior. He is basically saying that the Kingdom is essentially set aside for the poor. It is challenging because most Americans are monetarily rich in comparison to the rest of the world. The big take away is to not show partiality based on monetary or social status, but rather treat each other equally as co-heirs of God’s eternal inheritance.
For me I think these verses remind me to be more aware that we are all created by God for His purposes. I need to be careful to not judge others based on appearance or status. I think I also need to examine where I am with materialism and work hard to be Kingdom rich opposed to world rich.
Heavenly Father, thank you for your word. I pray God that I would not be partial when it comes to interacting with your people. I pray that I would be cognizant of my attitudes and judgments towards others. I pray that I would be more aware of my materialism and that I would be mindful of those in need. Thank you for your blessings. I pray in Jesus name. Amen.