Before the main topic today, here is a friendly reminder about our Leviathan Writing Contest. Also, we wrote a third sample story.


 

James 2:1-13
1 My brethren, have not the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, [the Lord] of glory, with respect of persons.
2 For if there come unto your assembly a man with a gold ring, in goodly apparel, and there come in also a poor man in vile raiment;
3 And ye have respect to him that weareth the gay clothing, and say unto him, Sit thou here in a good place; and say to the poor, Stand thou there, or sit here under my footstool:
4 Are ye not then partial in yourselves, and are become judges of evil thoughts?
5 Hearken, my beloved brethren, Hath not God chosen the poor of this world rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which he hath promised to them that love him?
6 But ye have despised the poor. Do not rich men oppress you, and draw you before the judgment seats?
7 Do not they blaspheme that worthy name by the which ye are called?
8 If ye fulfil the royal law according to the Scripture, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself, ye do well:
9 But if ye have respect to persons, ye commit sin, and are convinced of the law as transgressors.
10 For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one [point,] he is guilty of all.
11 For he that said, Do not commit adultery, said also, Do not kill. Now if thou commit no adultery, yet if thou kill, thou art become a transgressor of the law.
12 So speak ye, and so do, as they that shall be judged by the law of liberty.
13 For he shall have judgment without mercy, that hath showed no mercy; and mercy rejoiceth against judgment.

We do not want to become “judges of evil thoughts” (verse 4), so we want to resist the temptation to evaluate others based on the quality of their outward appearance. We do not want to transgress the “royal law” (verse 8) by holding others in honour or disdain, on the grounds of how well dressed and groomed they look, having “respect to persons” (verse 9).

So, you may wear a tie to church, if you like, but beware lest it become a snare, tempting you to establish a dress code which excludes those who are not so opulently attired. Many churches have a high standard for dressing modestly. That is good. We must also have a high standard for respect and honour towards those who have a modest clothing budget, whether it is from a lack of money or from a choice to avoid flaunting their wealth.

This is a point where overcompensation is also a danger. The above speaks of those who are tempted to scorn a person because they are dressed in the clothing of the poor and to favour those clothed as if they were wealthy. Some have the opposite temptation, to scorn a person because they are dressed in the clothing of the rich and to favour those clothed as if they were in poverty.

Leviticus 19:15 Ye shall do no unrighteousness in judgment: thou shalt not respect the person of the poor, nor honour the person of the mighty: [but] in righteousness shalt thou judge thy neighbour.

1 Timothy 5:21 I charge [thee] before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, and the elect angels, that thou observe these things without preferring one before another, doing nothing by partiality.

Proverbs 28:21 To have respect of persons [is] not good: for for a piece of bread [that] man will transgress.

Proverbs 24:23 These [things] also [belong] to the wise. [It is] not good to have respect of persons in judgment.

Jude verse 16 These are murmurers, complainers, walking after their own lusts; and their mouth speaketh great swelling [words,] having men’s persons in admiration because of advantage.

James 3:16-18
16 For where envying and strife [is,] there [is] confusion and every evil work.
17 But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, [and] easy to be entreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.
18 And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace.

Job 32:21-22
21 Let me not, I pray you, accept any man’s person, neither let me give flattering titles unto man.
22 For I know not to give flattering titles; [in so doing] my maker would soon take me away.

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