This week we have taken time to meditate on two INCLUSIVE WORDS in the Bible – WHOEVER & ALL. Today I invite you to join me in considering the importance of inclusive ACTIONS.
Allow me to place you in a local church group. One day two visitors come to visit your group. Visitor A is rich, well dressed, lives in a smart house nearby and works in a local bank. Visitor B is poor, untidily dressed, unemployed and lives in a council house nearby, on a ‘challenging’ estate. How would you treat each of them? Would you discriminate between them in any way?
Before you consider your responses, may I suggest that you read through James chapter 2, towards the end of the New Testament, and meditate upon what James says about discrimination, inclusivity and favouritism? “My brethren, do not hold the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, with partiality” verse 1. What do you think James goes on to say about discrimination and favouritism? Has he changed your thinking or have you honestly never thought about the matter before?
It is interesting to note the actions of Jesus Christ, when He was on earth. Contrary to the actions of even religious leaders:
- He spoke to a foreign Samaritan woman;
- He called Levi (Matthew), a despised tax collector for the Romans, to follow Him;
- He grew up in the despised city of Nazareth;
- He preached the Gospel (good news) to the poor;
- He was humble and served others;
- He ate with tax collectors and sinners etc.
If He, the Lord of glory, did not show favouritism, neither should those of us who are Christians do so today!
“And be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you” Ephesians chapter 4 verse 32.