I’ve been working at compiling a booklet based on articles I had written for the Deer Run newsletter from 2001 through early 2004. I thought this would be a good forum to share some of those earlier writings of mine with a greater audience. This is the first of those articles that I will be including in posts from time to time.
“So you must show mercy to others, or God will not show mercy to you when He judges you. But the person who shows mercy can stand without fear at the judgment.” James 2:13 (NCV)
I would guess that everyone would like the confidence to stand with no fear at the judgment. James addresses this issue and lets us know that the way we treat other people affects our ability to stand without fear at the judgment.
I believe this verse is in keeping with the context of James chapter 2. The idea we need to think about is, “how do I treat other people, particularly those who are different than I am?” The first part of chapter 2 talks about showing favoritism to someone because of what they appear to have. James goes so far as to make it clear in verse 9 that to treat one person as better than another is sinning against God.
Is this you or I that James could be talking about? How do we decide whom we will associate with? Do we ignore some people because they don’t do things the way we want? Do we seek out only people who agree with us all the time? Do we determine friendships based on how rich a person may appear to be? Do we avoid people who may appear poor? Do we show mercy in our relationships with others?
James continues in the end of chapter 2 to show that our actions do speak louder than our words. Who we choose associate with, and even those we choose to help, speak loudly about our willingness to show mercy and accept people as equal regardless of race, wealth, or family background.
May you be found showing mercy so that you may stand without fear at the judgment.