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James 2:2-4



2 For [gar] if [ean] there come [eiserchomai] unto [eis] your [humon] assembly [sunagoge] a man [aner] with a gold ring [chrusodaktulios], in [en] goodly [lampros] apparel [esthes], and [de] there come in [eiserchomai] also [kai] a poor man [ptochos] in [en] vile [rhuparos] raiment [esthes];

3 And [kai] ye have respect [epiblepo] to [epi] him that weareth [phoreo] the gay [lampros] clothing [esthes], and [kai] say [epo] unto him [autos], Sit [kathemai] thou [su] here [hode] in a good place [kalos]; and [kai] say [epo] to the poor [ptochos], Stand [histemi] thou [su] there [ekei], or [e] sit [kathemai] here [hode] under [hupo] my [mou] footstool [hupopodion]:

4 Are ye [diakrino] not [ou] then [kai] partial [diakrino] in [en] yourselves [heautou], and [kai] are become [ginomai] judges [krites] of evil [poneros] thoughts [dialogismos]? KJV-Interlinear



2 For if a man comes into your assembly with a gold ring and dressed in fine clothes, and there also comes in a poor man in dirty clothes, 3 and you pay special attention to the one who is wearing the fine clothes, and say, 'You sit here in a good place,' and you say to the poor man, 'You stand over there, or sit down by my footstool,' 4 have you not made distinctions among yourselves, and become judges with evil motives? NASB



Now, first and foremost, this passage doe not tell you how to choose your friends or those with whom you wish to socialize. Nor does this passage tell you that you must socialize with stinky old poor men.


In this passage there is a stark difference drawn between the man with the gold ring and fine clothing, and the poor man dressed in rags.These are the meanings. And they are made dramatically clear in their difference in order to teach a point of moral character, not to demand rules for picking your friends.


In life, we will always be exposed to situations that prompt the temptation of bias or prejudice. How your moral character goes, will decide how you will treat people in general.


Here the 'assembly' is a formal gathering of some sort.It could be a church assembly, a court of law assembly, a social club assembly, or a family gathering. In any case there will be people there of whom you like and of whom you will not like.


The real question here is your motivation. Are you judgmental? Are you seeking some sort of benefit or advancement?Are you trying to win brownie points?Are you choosing those with whom you want to associate because you perceive that they will benefit you in some way?Do you show favor to those with whom you presume are talented, connected financially or socially, or perhaps because they have some sort of authority, which if you play your cards right, will benefit you someday?


Like I said, life is full of situations that will tempt you into a prejudicial mode, if you allow it.


Join any social club, where competitiveness is always at the forefront, and it won't be long before you recognize the social clique's that drive the club.You are either in, or you are out, depending on how you relate to the existing members, or depending on how they perceive you.


If you are wealthy and of benefit to them, then you will be accepted.If you are a nobody, then you will have to do a lot of brown-nosing in order to become accepted.


One of the common opposing forces to authority and respect, are the functions of peer pressure and disrespect.


Authority and respect accompany the divine establishment principles, while their opposites, peer pressure and disrespect, are functions of evil.


Teens are exposed to this principle early in life, in school or in their own neighborhood, and adults are exposed to this principle through social or work related politics.


To succumb to the pressures of society, is to adopt evil into your own heart.To reject the corrupt views of society, will result in ostracism from society in general. Can you live with ostracism? Can you live with being the target of gossip?


So, the choice. Whose opinion is more important to you - Gods or mans?


And how will you deal with people - with contempt or with respect, regardless of their outward appearance or possible impact on your life.

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End Of Lesson

Study to show thyself approved (mature) unto God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing (studying/discerning), the Word of truth.

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