Bible Reading: James 2
Have you ever been around someone who is basically managing two life profiles- living as one person here and then as another person there?
It seems really bad in the extremes until we really put ourselves under the spotlight and take out the log in our own eyes.
If we’ll be honest, in some way or the other, we all deal with disparity. Maybe not some extreme disparity in character, but sometimes, as basic as staying consistent with our confession in difficult seasons gets challenged.
In our reading today, James comes directly on those ‘disparity spaces’ and urges us into a life of consistency and entirety before God.
James reminds us that it is important that we embrace a wholistic conversation in the things of God. He reminds us that following Jesus and the life we’ve chosen is a call to live above disparities.
He demonstrates two main examples of disparity:
- Disparity in how we treat people, based on social class (v 1-13)
It is important that we are reminded that God’s command to us to walk in love is not about a class of people or our convenience. We must defeat the tendency towards disparity. We must re-embrace a God mindedness towards people. We can’t afford to have shallow judgments of people. In a day and age like ours where there’s so much division and divisiveness, this is a strong reminder to hold to heart. James isn’t saying everybody gets the same treatment from us as Christians, instead, he’s saying that our heart of love towards people must be the same, and should not be prejudiced.
- Disparity between our faith and its expressions ( v 14-26)
James comes strong against a language of faith that is not revealed in concurrent expressions. He wonders how there is a disparity between an affirmation of believing and the actions that are expected to follow through. Again, this is a strong reminder in an age where even being a Christian has been reduced to a box that we tick on a form, or a mere lazy and heartless show up at a Sunday morning gathering. It’s all about mental accents and empty words.
May we be reminded today and reawakened to the expectation that God has of us as followers of Christ. In a watered-down world, may we move beyond cheap talk and empty affirmations. May we be delivered from being followers of Jesus that do nothing more than follow the beat of a song in a service. May our hearts truly catch the beat of His heart. May we truly be sold out to live totally and devotedly in the light of our confession. James reminds us that even a demon can claim to believe in Jesus. But where will we stand when the light falls on the follow-through?
May we truly be Christians.
In the same way, faith is dead when it doesn’t result in faithful activity. Someone might claim, “You have faith and I have action.” But how can I see your faith apart from your actions? Instead, I’ll show you my faith by putting it into practice in faithful action. James 2:17-18 CEB