Yesterday, Pastor Trey continued our sermon series "Faith/Works" from the book of James, on Favoritism. Please take a moment to read James 2:1-12, and reflect on this prayer.
Father, it isn’t a question of whether I show favoritism or whether I judge people by their appearance; it’s a question of which groups I do this to. Please open my eyes to it! Please give me the courage to face the truth. Reveal to me the reason which lies inside of me that I favor one group and judge another. Please heal the wound, dispel the fear, and dig up the root of pride so that my judgment and favoritism are starved and die out. Open my eyes to the truth about the people around me -- their value, their hopes and desires, their struggles. Help me to see their lives as precious, just as you do. Help me to engage with those different from me so I can get a new perspective. Please open my ears to the words, attitude, and tone voice I use which reveal my favoritism and judgment of others. You loved me, God, and you didn’t judge me by my physical appearance. Thank you! Help me be more like you. Please show me one way I can genuinely love without favoritism in my home, at work, in traffic, or at the store. I confess -- I agree with you -- that I’m a lawbreaker. I have shown favoritism and have judged those around me. I hand you that sin and I’ll watch to see what you do with it. Thank you for forgiving me and helping me to turn away from this into freedom! Please show me my “neighbor” who needs my love and acceptance today. And please fill my heart with your love, not my finicky, emotion-based, wimpy human love, but rather your real, deep, eternal-minded, action love. Please show me one thing I can do to love that person. God, I need your mercy now, and when I stand before you when my life is done, I’ll want and need it even more. Help me to show your kind of crazy, extravagant mercy to those around me. Let mercy triumph over judgment in my heart! I desperately want to be merciful to my family, my coworkers, my neighbors, and myself. God, help me to hold on to your glory so that I’m not dazzled or disgusted by the people around me. Help me keep my eyes and the eyes of my heart on you and on those you love.
May you Love your neighbor as yourself this week because Faith Loves.