518. Looking Down Or Looking Up?

“Confession time,” Stan began.  “I was reading in James’ letter to the church this morning and was severely convicted of something God wants to remove from me.”

“Sounds serious,” I replied.  “What’s going on?”

“I have the tendency to think that all Christians are supposed to look alike,” Stan responded. 

“I am convinced,” he continued, “that such an attitude is the exact opposite of what God wants and expects.”

“What do you mean by ‘look alike’?” I asked.

“Simple stuff,” Stan replied.  “I tend to think that everyone who shows up at a church service should be dressed in a certain manner, as if I am the judge of all such things.”

“Another example,” Stan added, “is that I have the unfortunate tendency to put certain Christians on some sort of pedestal, elevating them above the rest.  Kind of like the rich and famous being more important than the poor and unnoticed.”

“You’re right, Stan,” I replied.  “It is confession time!  Is that going to be followed by repentance?” I said with a smile.

“You’ve got that right, my friend,” Stan said.  “Confess, repent, and look up to God to see His perspective on His people, rather than looking down on anyone from my perspective.”

“God looks at the hearts of His people, not what they look like on the outside.  I am to do the same.  I am not the judge!”

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My brethren, do not hold your faith in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ with an attitude of personal favoritism.  For if a man comes into your assembly with a gold ring and dressed in fine clothes, and there also comes in a poor man in dirty clothes, and you pay special attention to the one who is wearing the fine clothes, and say, “You sit here in the good place,” and you say to the poor man, “You stand over there, or sit down by my footstool,” have you not made distinctions among yourselves, and become judges with evil motives?  James 2:1 – 4.

Prayer:  Thank you, Father, that you do not make any distinction between your people based on what we look like.  Thank you that you look at our hearts and our commitment to you.  I confess that too often I tend to look at and judge on the basis of outward appearances rather than the way you do.  Please forgive me.  And please help me in following your lead in looking at your people only as you do, with love based on what they are on the inside, rather than on what I think they should look like on the outside.  Thank you I can and do bring these prayers before you in the name of Jesus.  Amen.

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Things to think (and journal) about:

1.  What is your biggest take-away from this devotional?

2.  What does this devotional say about God and about us as His people?

3.  What is God saying to you to do personally?

4.  Who can you share this with to make a difference?

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Comments, questions, suggestions, and the like can be addressed to The Storyteller at: waiting4thetrain@gmail.com.

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