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Devotionals 2006

Every Person
April 20, 2006 ē By Ed Wrather


My brethren, do not hold the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, with partiality. For if there should come into your assembly a man with gold rings, in fine apparel, and there should also come in a poor man in filthy clothes, and you pay attention to the one wearing the fine clothes and say to him, "You sit here in a good place," and say to the poor man, "You stand there," or, "Sit here at my footstool," have you not shown partiality among yourselves, and become judges with evil thoughts? Listen, my beloved brethren: Has God not chosen the poor of this world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom which He promised to those who love Him? But you have dishonored the poor man. Do not the rich oppress you and drag you into the courts? Do they not blaspheme that noble name by which you are called? If you really fulfill the royal law according to the Scripture, "You shall love your neighbor as yourself," you do well; but if you show partiality, you commit sin, and are convicted by the law as transgressors. - James 2:1-9.


I missed the article in USA Today last Friday, "CEOs vouch for Waiter Rule: Watch how people treat staff," but I did read a short response to it by Johnnie C. Godwin in USA Today this day. Godwin says, "My truck-driver dad taught and instilled in me, a future corporate officer, to treat the janitor as well as the president." Godwin went on to say that, "Dadís school for life instilled in me the essential message of USA Todayís splendid cover story on the Waiter Rule, which holds that how a person treats a waiter is like a magical window into his or her soul." Bill Swanson, Raytheonís CEO in a booklet he wrote about leadership said, "A person who is nice to you but rude to the waiter, or to others, is not a nice person."


It is refreshing to hear those in leadership positions express words of kindness and impartiality. Certainly, this is the Biblical intention for followers of our Lord to be treated well and kind - not just those who may have money or power but those who have little money or power.


In our society in the United States, it is a sad truth that the nicer you are dressed and the better you look physically, the better treatment you will usually receive in your interactions with others. Perhaps this is a result of a constant bombardment through the media of the images of beautiful and on the surface flawless people. James reminds us that, "If you really fulfill the royal law according to the Scripture, 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself,' you do well." James also records a strong warning against callous insensitivity and partiality from those to have much when he writes, "Come now, you rich, weep and howl for your miseries that are coming upon you! Your riches are corrupted, and your garments are moth-eaten. Your gold and silver are corroded, and their corrosion will be a witness against you and will eat your flesh like fire. You have lived on the earth in pleasure and luxury; you have fattened your hearts as in a day of slaughter. You have condemned, you have murdered the just (James 5:1-3; 5-6)."


We should always remember that every person is important in the eyes of God. Because God demonstrated this importance by dying on the cross for all, not just some. Salvation is for all who will come, all who will receive Godís provision for sin through Christ Jesus. Sadly, many reject Christ; but this does not lessen the demonstration of Godís love for them, nor our need to treat them with the same love and respect.

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