A Corrupt Standard

My brothers and sisters, practice your faith in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ by not favoring one person over another. For example, two men come to your worship service. One man is wearing gold rings and fine clothes; the other man, who is poor, is wearing shabby clothes. Suppose you give special attention to the man wearing fine clothes and say to him, “Please have a seat.” But you say to the poor man, “Stand over there,” or “Sit on the floor at my feet.” Aren’t you discriminating against people and using a corrupt standard to make judgments?

James 2:1‭-‬4 GW

People look at outward appearances and make judgments. This is called discrimination. It’s also called the sin of partiality. We tend to favor those who we think will be of benefit to us. That’s not how things operate in the Kingdom of God.

As the U.S. Constitution affirms, God is egalitarian. All people are created equal. All people deserve equal treatment and equal opportunity. We don’t, at least on paper, support a caste system.

The reality is, your race and socioeconomic status at birth largely determine the treatment you receive and the opportunities available to you. As a culture, we’re in the midst of a painful reckoning with our sinful past. The only way forward is the only way that will bring reconciliation. We must do things God’s way.

Change starts with us. Transformation begins in the heart. No amount of protesting, demonstrating, yelling and screaming will change the system.

If you want real change, you have to call in the big guns. You have to pray and fast. Then, God will hear from Heaven and get to work on changing the hearts of the people to be more like His.

We have not been given the responsibility to judge, that’s God’s job. And even He waits until we’re dead to pass final judgment on us. Once our time is up here on this planet, then He examines our life to see if we were good and faithful servants of the Lord Jesus Christ. Until that time, He is patient and there is grace.

Our job is to forgive. Our job is to be merciful. Our job is to make disciples. The system will eat itself. Capitalism in its current configuration is unsustainable and will self-destruct without an intervention to add checks and balances to unchecked greed. Capitalism has a long history of exploiting the environment and the workers to make the few rich.

Jesus clearly stated that you can’t serve God and money. If you let money be your master, if you let the pursuit of material wealth be your god, you will be serving a corrupt standard.

God doesn’t care how much money you make. Jesus was homeless at His birth and through the years of His earthly ministry. That didn’t affect His impact and the weight of His words.

God cares about your heart.

The poor are near and dear to God’s heart. He was one of them and walked among them. He was a friend to the outcast and foreigner. He came to seek out and save the lost.

Instead of fighting and complaining about a broken system, do something productive. Love your neighbor as you love yourself. Show the same consideration you do for yourself to others. Bear one another’s burdens.

We need to be delivered from the influence of this wicked and perverted generation. That doesn’t mean we go around judging them. It means we don’t conform to popular culture. We show a better way. We lead by example. We preach the Gospel and invite people to start a new life, built on a relationship with Jesus through the Holy Spirit of God.

There’s an old saying. You don’t clean a fish before you catch it. If you drive all the fish away because they’re swimming in muddy water, you’ll never catch one. Catch all the fish you can. Introduce them to the pure waters that flow from the Throne of God and be amazed as they are cleansed through the sanctifying Word of Truth.

Sin isn’t the enemy. It’s the symptom. The root cause of sin is deception, believing a lie. The devil is our active opponent. He deceives people with lies to get people to act on that bad information. The truth is our weapon to dispel the lies.

The Word of God is the sword of the Spirit. It starts with the Gospel, the Good News that Jesus is our healer, our Savior, our deliverer and our God. Without Jesus, we’re all doomed to destruction. With Jesus, we receive the promise of eternal and abundant life.

What’s the best way forward? Walk with God. Place your trust fully in Him. Study His Word. Apply it in your daily life. Let the Holy Spirit lead you in God’s love to live a life of humble service. You won’t save the world, but you will affect the lives of everyone God places in your path. That’s no small feat.

Defeat the corrupt standard. If you bought into the lie of worldliness, confess it as sin and ask God to restore an upright spirit within you. One that stands for God, not bows to the world and its ways.

Be encouraged. The battle is heating up, but God is with you in the fire. The best is yet to come. To God be the glory. Amen.

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