The Gospel is the Great Equalizer (James 1:9-11)

The Gospel is the Great Equalizer.pngJames 1:9-11

How do you see yourself? Do you see yourself as the world sees you? Or, do you see yourself as you are in Christ?

James had some unusual instructions for how we ought to view ourselves. He said of poor believers that they should take pride in their high position. He said of rich believers that they should take pride in their low position. (James 1:9-10) How could he say that? It does not make sense.

To be poor means to be nothing, according to the world’s standards. You have nothing to give. You take your calculator to the grocery store for fear that you don’t have enough money in your bank account or credit on your credit card to pay for your food. You are slapped by late payment fees and high interest rates. That dream car, dream home, dream vacation, or dream this or that will always be out of your reach. So, how can James tell you to take pride in your high position?

What if you are rich? If you are rich, you have everything, according to the world’s standards. People want to be around you. They want to be your friend. All the foundations and charities have your name, number, and address, and they want to treat you to lunch. That dream car, dream vacation, that house in the Hamptons, these can be yours. The world is your oyster shell. So, how can James tell you to take pride in your low position?

The Gospel is the great equalizer. Do you remember when stereo systems had graphic equalizers? You could adjust the bands to even out the sound. If the sound was to bright or tinny, you could lower the high bands to even it out. If the sound was to boomy or bassy, you could turn down the lower bands. The Gospel keeps us from thinking too lowly of ourselves and giving into despair by reminding us of our high position in Christ, who has redeemed us, adopted us, and promises us future glory. The Gospel also keeps us from thinking to highly of ourselves by reminding us that we are all just as spiritually impoverished as the poor person is economically impoverished. Wealth in this world will fade away just as quickly as a beautiful flower scorched by the heat of the sun (James 1:10-11).

How do you see yourself? Do you see yourself as the world sees you? Or, do you see yourself as you are in Christ?

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