“My brothers, as believers in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ, don’t show favoritism. Suppose… a poor man in shabby clothes also comes in…you say to the poor man… ‘Sit on the floor by my feet,’ have you not discriminated among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts? But if you show favoritism, you sin and are convicted by the law as lawbreakers.” James 2:1-9
If anybody had any entitlement to favoritism with Jesus it would have been his little brother. They most likely laid in bed together at night getting in trouble, being normal boys and doing normal things. I know for myself I love my sisters and value our relationship with each other. I take pride in the fact that they are my sisters and claim it anytime the opportunities arise. Instead we find James aligning his position with all believers in Christ, not pursuing entitlement but encouraging equality. James could have looked down his nose at 99% of mankind and played the ‘brother of Jesus’ card. He could have easily pointed everyone to that truth instead of God’s truth. But, he fully embraced the humility that he deserved nothing from the brother Jesus but was given everything from the Savior Jesus Christ. James understood that to determine a person’s value was to judge someone who God esteemed.
There is no pecking order in Christ…the ground is level at the base of the cross. I am embarrassed at past times when my secret attitude relegated someone to ‘sit on the floor by my feet.’ When we judge the guy at the stoplight holding up the sign we have placed him at our feet. When we determine that people are where they are in life because of their own decisions we have judged and sinned. God does not expect us to give financially to all people in all situations but grace did not cost us anything, so why do we charge others? He does expect every one of us to give every one of His children grace and mercy.
On any given day we are the woman who is judged or the man who is exalted. You see, we are all just moving targets when measured against the world. When we begin to see each other as spiritual siblings in Christ we tend to have a more compassionate heart, breaking down barriers and laying down entitlements. It is not our place to condemn or exalt, but to take our place at the feet of Christ.