GRACE AMBASSADORS

Who Do You Respect?

By Justin Johnson

When life is easy, people think God likes them.

When life is a struggle, the same people will think God dislikes them.

Through their eyes, wealthy comfortable Christians are blessed of God, while the poor and struggling Christian is penalized by God.

Celebrity preachers say they must be doing something right, because God has blessed them with a large ministry and riches.

Another minister preaches being poor is a sin, and think themselves above others that have difficult lives.

“If they were going to the right church … “
“If they were praying enough…”
“If they were giving more to God…”
“If they were doing enough good works … then they would not be facing this difficulty/sickness/financial challenge.”

The Bible describes this thinking as corrupt. It is what the Bible calls respecting persons.

A person’s financial status or well-being does not determine their standing with God. It is a lie used by self-righteous men that secretly respect persons.

The poor, weak, and sick should not be despised.

Job’s Distress

Job’s self-righteous friends tried to convince Job he was a sinner, because he was poor and destitute. Job rebuked them for disrespecting God.

“Will ye speak wickedly for God? and talk deceitfully for him?… He will surely reprove you, if ye do secretly accept persons.” – Job 13:7-10

Job says they do it secretly, because religious people would never confess to this sin publicly.

Publicly they say we are suppose to love our neighbor. “We should help the poor and the hurting in tragedy.”

Then in their next pious paragraph explain that their calamity shines the light upon sin, else God would have blessed them with a comfortable life.

This is respecting persons.

“He that is ready to slip with his feet is as a lamp despised in the thought of him that is at ease.” – Job 12:5

Respecters Reject the Truth

The priests of Jesus’ day said that the blind were born in sins, otherwise, they thought, why were they born blind?

“They answered and said unto him, Thou wast altogether born in sins, and dost thou teach us? And they cast him out.” – John 9:34

Jesus’ earthly vocation was the reason that some disrespected the Son of God by respecting his person.

“Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary, the brother of James, and Joses, and of Juda, and Simon? and are not his sisters here with us? And they were offended at him.” – Mark 6:3

Pious men ridiculed Paul and his ministry because he was poor, weak, and had physical infirmities.

“For his letters, say they, are weighty and powerful; but his bodily presence is weak, and his speech contemptible.” – 2 Cor 10:10

Judging Righteously

Do not judge a person’s standing with God by their financial status or well being in life.

Likewise, do not judge a person’s understanding of God by the size of their library, the wealth of their donors, or their fashionable appearance.

Not many noble are called, and many of the most spiritual men of the Bible were poor, infirm, or societal rejects.

When someone is poor, do you immediately think it must be the result of some sin?

Would you consider the testimony of a wealthy, educated, public servant over the testimony of a poverty stricken, public nuisance, who never finished high school?

If so, you secretly respect persons. Stop.

Judge according to Paul’s gospel, with the mind of Christ, by an understanding of right doctrine.

We are all sinners, and God’s grace is offered to all.

If you are in Christ, you are reconciled to God, even if you are ugly, poor, and facing disaster.

Bad things can happen to people who are reconciled to God. Don’t blame God. Don’t blame the person.

Don’t secretly respect persons.

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Published: June 8, 2013
Last Modified: March 7, 2018
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