Brothers | Weight Lifters | The Only Star
My brothers and sisters, believers in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ must not show favoritism.… (James 2:1)
The roped-off section at the front left no room for Mellie and her kids. They’d visited this church last week, but apparently special guests were coming today. She ushered the kids to the overflow room as a group of well-dressed dignitaries swept past in the company of the pastor and staff. The glittering guests were shown directly to the front, as other congregants hovered nearby, offering to serve them. Celebrities? Mellie wondered. In church? Shouldn’t God be the only star?
Mellie’s question was right: celebrities in church? Or even worse, church celebrities. We’ve designated certain people “professional Christians,” treating them like they’re God-Junior because they speak or sing well. We don’t realize it, but we’re bringing the world’s value system right into the church when we show favoritism to those with fame, talent, money, or power.
If Oprah showed up at church, would the focus be on her or on God? Would we be as eager to get a cup of coffee for a smelly guy who wanders in as we would be for Brad Pitt? Our tendency to idolize some people and shun others can even show up in church, and James rebukes those attitudes. They don’t belong in our hearts or in church. Jesus is the only star.
Final Thought: What type of people do you idolize? Would you show them favoritism if they showed up at church?
Prayer: Father, I might show favoritism if _________ came to church. It feels natural to do that because anybody would. But that’s not your way. Who am I slighting in favor of others I admire? Help me see my own bias. In Jesus name, Amen.