Archive for June 2009

Give Me Your Eyes - Part 2

Recently we discussed James’ admonition against personal favoritism in James 2. We unpacked the hypothetical illustration of favoritism in corporate worship.  I think this is a remarkably pertinent application of James’ teaching on personal favoritism, but I do not think that it is the only application that we can draw from this passage.

James tells his readers that they are guilty of becoming "judges with evil thoughts" (v. 4b) because they have begun to judge others based on the wrong standard.  They decided that personal wealth and status was the standard by which they should judge other people.  He says to judge based on this standard is to "show partiality...[commit] sin and [become] convicted by the law as transgressors" (v. 9b).  Instead of this wicked (read: evil, satanic) standard by which they are judging people, James teaches that they should look through the eyes of love (v. 8) and mercy (v. 13) when they view other people.Read more ...

Published on June 24, 2009 at 5:04 pm |


Trust is an interesting thing. My daughter trusts me to a degree that you see in few children. When she was very little, I began at different times to place her in high places and tell her to jump down into my arms. It was amazing to see this 18-month-old fling herself off of heights as high as 10 feet up. She truly believed I would catch her. My daughter is now four. She still looks for places that she can climb up on and jump off. To this point, I have never failed her.Read more ...

Published on June 20, 2009 at 10:42 pm |

Give Me Your Eyes

God gave Samuel a job to do.  He was supposed to pick the new King of Israel from among the sons of Jesse.  As he began to examine each of Jesse’s sons, he decided which one he thought that God should choose.  But God warned Samuel that He looked with different eyes:  “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the LORD sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the LORD looks on the heart” (1 Samuel 16:7).  Samuel was thinking just like most of us think.  As he looked on the sons of Jesse, he saw only what was on the outside.  But like most of us, that was enough for Samuel to choose his favorite.

James talks about this type of thinking in the second chapter of his epistle.  He gives us a hypothetical scenario.  There is a gathering of believers, probably a church service.  The host of the assembly sees two men walk through the door.  One of the men is dressed in beautiful, shining garments.  He has gold rings on his fingers and is obviously someone of great importance and influence.  Then the host sees another man.  His clothes are old and somewhat shabby.  He is obviously a poor man and of little importance.  The host decides to offer the rich man a front row seat and a place of honor, but he tells the poor man to stand off to the side or sit at his feet.  James says that by doing these things the host has “made distinctions...and become [a judge] with evil thoughts” (James 2:4). Does that sound harsh?Read more ...

Published on June 13, 2009 at 5:42 pm |

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