top of page
  • Jason Wilson

Monday Devotion: Practice Mercy 

Friends, let's get real. We all think we're above judging books by their covers. But if we're honest, our actions reveal some ugly biases. 

Remember what James said at the start of chapter 2? He told us to live out our faith with action—to quit playing favorites based on appearances. As he put it, we look at the outside, but God examines the heart (1 Samuel 16:7). Jesus scolded the religious phonies who looked holy on the outside but were corrupt on the inside (Matthew 7:15, 23:7-8). Judging others by their looks is a cop-out—we don't have to know them or hear their stories. But taking time to know their hearts takes effort—asking questions, listening, learning their journeys.

Conversations about money and status in church can get awkward. But James goes there often. As the practical theologian he is, James says we should only make the distinctions God makes. We've all got preferences that become prejudices. If we ignore James here, we'll discourage fellow believers and miss relationships that help us grow.

You don't need a sociology degree to notice high school cliques at lunchtime—either you're in or you're out. But the church, says James, is a family where favoritism is sin. 

The one thing uniting God's Kingdom is that every Christian has received mercy through Christ. Old social pecking orders of rich and poor, black and white, status or no status—they're obsolete in God's family. What matters here isn't what we do, have, or are, but what Christ has done, given, and made us in Himself.

Our response to others, by the Spirit's power, is impartial mercy. Through Jesus, mercy triumphs over judgment.

So as brothers and sisters, how could we judge each other by externals? Who are we trying to impress? James says God has blessed the poor with rock-solid faith. By owning little, some have leaned on Christ and discovered joyous trust. As C.S. Lewis put it, "He who has God and everything else has no more than he who has God only"—except the rich risk forgetting the Giver.

We're each thankful God gives us mercy, not judgment. Without it, we'd have no relationship with Him. James says model earthly relationships after that. Rather than judging those God saved and showed mercy, let's join Him in merciful love, grace, kindness, and patience—helping each other become more like Jesus.

Towards what groups of people have you been partial or judgmental? How can you repent of these attitudes and practice mercy?


29 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page