Obstacle presents opportunity

How to treat people right: Accept, appreciate and affirm. Contributed by Pastor Ed Brower of Sidley Mountain Cowboy Curch

James 2:1 My brothers, as believers in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ, don’t show favouritism. James says there are three problems with favouritism.

1. Favoritism is unchristian. This word “favouritism” is used only three other times in the Bible. Each of those refers to God and it says, “God does not play favorites.” Jesus treated everybody with dignity.

If there is one place in the world where there shouldn’t be any kind of discrimination it ought to be the church.

2. Favouritism is unreasonable. In 2:5-7 he’s not saying that it’s good to be poor and bad to be rich. Nor is he saying that only the poor will be saved. James says, why cater to the rich? “Are not the rich exploiting you?”

It was the upper crust (a bunch of crumbs held together by their own dough) that were persecuting the Christians, judging and insulting the Christians, throwing them to the lions.

3. Favouritism is unloving. I John 4:20 If a man says he loves God and hates his brother he’s lying. How can you love God whom you haven’t seen if you don’t love your brother whom you have seen?

Love treats people with mercy. Love gives people what they need, not what they deserve. How do you treat people?

HOW TO TREAT PEOPLE RIGHT

Three steps:

Accept everybody. There’s a difference between acceptance and approval. You can accept someone without approving of his lifestyle. “Accept one another just as Christ accepted you.” Romans 15:7.

At Sidley Mountain Cowboy Church we are trying to cultivate an attitude of acceptance. The church is a hospital for sinners, not a hotel for saints.

If you’re perfect, you don’t belong here. This is a church for people who don’t have it all together. It doesn’t matter where you’ve been, it matters where you are now.

This is a church that believes that Jesus really lived, that He really died on the cross and that He really rose again on the third day. We cannot and will not water down that message. But in the non-essentials we have liberty and in all things we have charity.

If we can’t learn to get along together here on the earth, what makes us think we’ll get along together in heaven?

Appreciate everybody. Philippians 2:35 “Do nothing from selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourself. Each of you should look not only to your own interest but also the interest of others.”

Affirm everybody. Give a lift whenever possible. I Thessalonians 5:11 “Encourage one another and build each other up.”

Please join us at Sidley Mountain Cowboy Church 6 p.m., the second and fourth Sunday nights of the month. We are meeting at the Bridesville Hall.

 

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