“Father help us to love as you love and see people as you see them.”
On my first day as a student nursing assistant, my very first nursing home patient cried out for urgent help. I was quick to judge her as weak and poor and elderly. A few days later I was stunned to find her seated in the formal lounge in her Sunday best attire and bright yellow rim hat as if she were a wealthy viewer in the stands at the Kentucky Derby. She was alert, oriented and energetic. Her weakness and frailty had been the result of medication, and her family had arranged for her flight to Florida to live with her daughter there. I humbly admit I probably would have favored her more if I had seen her that day first. James Chapter 2 cautions us not to favor the wealthy. “If you show favoritism, you sin and are convicted as lawbreakers.” (James 2:9)
James reminds us in verses 5-7 that God has chosen the poor of this world to be rich in faith and inherit His Kingdom. Yet, to favor the rich is to insult God’s chosen people and favor those who are slandering His name. We are to “love our neighbors as ourselves” referring to the laws written in Leviticus 19:18. To do anything other than these commands is to sin. He further directs us to show mercy because “mercy triumphs over judgment.” (James 2:13)
We are called to serve the poor and elderly in a nursing home and the wealthy people of this world equally. We are to love them all just as God loves them. How are you loving and serving those around you? Do you find you are showing favoritism, or are you allowing Christ’s love to flow through you to all regardless of their wealth or status? Father help us to love as you love and see people as you see them.