Dishonoring the poor

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Dishonoring The Poor

(Jas. 2:6)

Warren E. Berkley

Once in a while we all need to be reminded of the simple moral imperatives and prohibitions God has communicated to us through His inspired writers. Could it be, the simple things can be easily dismissed from memory?

It is sinful to dishonor the poor. To ignore or discount someone because they have less than you or lower income is simply sinful. To treat someone with contempt, coldness, prejudice or disapproval because of their financial status or misfortune is simply sinful.

While this is conveyed throughout Scripture, it is riveting to the honest Bible reader in James chapter two. James describes a not-so-hypothetical case. A poor person enters an assembly and is almost completely dismissed as unimportant. At the same time, one who appears to be wealthy is given first class treatment.

After describing the event, James condemns the attitude by saying to those guilty of this prejudice: (1) You are showing partiality, (2) You have become judges with evil thoughts, (3) You have acted against God’s will, (4) You have dishonored the poor, (5) You have blasphemed “that noble name by which you are called,” and (6) You have violated the law of love. James’ conclusion is: “you commit sin, and are convicted by the law as transgressors.”

Truth to learn: What we make, what we have, where we live, what we drive, how we dress, how much we have saved, how fortunate we have been . . . all such matters should never be the basis of our judgment and treatment of others.

See James 2:1-13

and Prov. 29:7

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