Genuine Hospitality

“If ye have respect to persons, ye commit sin,” (James 2:9).

The Book of James is about genuineness in the Christian life.  Chapter two deals with hospitality in the church.  The ushers kowtowed to the “needs” of the rich and powerful.  

They could not see beyond the superficial, “the goodly apparel.”  A person may wear the latest fashion, yet his soul may be clothed in filthy rags (Isaiah 64:6).  An evangelist illustrated this point.  He said, “I look pretty good,” as he showed his new suit.  Then he took off his shoes to reveal that his socks had holes.  He removed his coat and revealed that the back of his shirt was torn and ripped.  From appearance, he looked good, but a closer inspection revealed that his rich appearance was riddled with holes and tears.  It is more important to be clothed with spiritual apparel: the robe of righteousness, the garment of praise, the clothes of humility, the whole armor of God.

The ushers also could not see beyond the material, “the gold ring.”  A person may be rich in material possessions, but poor and pitiable in spiritual treasures.

The ushers also could not see beyond the temporal, “sit in a good place.”  A person may have all the right connections today, and be indicted for fraud tomorrow.

Let’s examine our own judgments about people.  How quick are we to size someone up based on their appearance or speech?  I was born in the South and my accent is thick.  My resume often rises to the top for a job interview until they call me on the phone. When they hear my southern accent, they assume that I am dumb, slow, lazy, and not intelligent.

But thanks be to God.  He does not look on the outward appearance or hear the southern drawls.  He looks at the heart, and He wants us to look deeper into the souls of people.

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