Sunday, February 2, 2014

On 2-9-14, James 2:1-13 will be our Adult Sunday School/Uniform Series/International Sunday School Lesson herein is my commentary. This lesson is known by some as Treat Everyone Equally

Treat Everyone Equally
James 2:1-13
International Sunday School Lesson
February 9, 2014

Jed Greenough

On the surface today’s scripture seems simple enough to be obedient concerning but I feel it is deeper than that.  This seems most apparent to me because though I am familiar with this scripture each time I revisit it I seem to feel I am reminded anew to follow this direction.  Why?
Unlike God we surround ourselves with our favorites.  Think about your own life.  We choose that special someone to be our mate.  Now that is favoritism.  We have favorite colors, foods, drinks, clothes, seasons, authors, TV shows, and even favorite versions of the Bible.  We go to our churches and classes and groups and we have our favorite places to sit and people to sit near and visit with.
This isn’t the problem, I’m confident of that.  No, if we look at this scripture we see favoritism that results in someone being ill-treated or unfairly treated or unequally treated as a result.
It can be a challenge for a pastor to attempt to engage one person in conversation and have a difficult go of it and then attempt to converse with them just as earnestly again.  It might be difficult for some to invite a person they are intimidated by to join their bible study.  A committee chairperson may find it hard to conclude that a shabby person is suitable to join them as compared to the person dressed to the nines.
Knowing this, my idea is that we need to develop a mindset of people being like rungs of a ladder in how we treat them.  First you have to get by the negative connotation that might have to you from what we would normally think that means and the oversimplification this format puts on the example.  Next we must never forget that with regard to Christians we are not the same with regard to how we have been gifted by the Holy Spirit.  Just as one example, those who have the gift of encouragement or management are not the ones you should ask to teach and vice versa but this is not favoritism as I defined the bad results above.  Instead in our general dealing of people, each person whether chic or shabby, poor or affluent, man, woman or child should be approached and dealt with the same as if, yes, they were a rung on a ladder we are climbing with the first one just as important as the next.
This is how we want God to think about us and what we need to remind ourselves to do.

For Discussion:
1.      Do you greet one another as a part of your church service?  I know you gravitate towards the same people.  This is an example of favoritism.  Get in the habit of starting at the nearest person and work in a direction regardless of who they are.
2.      Make it a point to weekly attempt a conversation with a person where you worship.  The next week the next person.  The next week another person and so on treating each person the same.  You can visit with your favorites later!
3.      Discuss your favorites and why you are glad God isn’t like that.
4.      See Acts 10:34
5.      Discuss what God thinks of those who love Him versus those who do not.
6.      See 1 Timothy 5:21
7.      Discuss what is meant by the poor of verse 5.
8.      Discuss judging people so as to choose one over another.

Upcoming Lessons

2-16-14       Show Your Faith by Your Works, James 2:14-26
2-23-14       Control Your Speech, James 3:1-12
3-2-14         An Eternal Kingdom, 2 Samuel 7:4-16

Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 Biblica. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved

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