Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world. James 1:27
Listen: James 1
James is living in a time quite different than ours when he writes today’s verse. There was no social safety net for the poor. There was no such thing as a pension, foster care, welfare or Social Security. Those who were poor had nothing and no one to care for them. At the time, people thought the poor had done something to deserve their poverty and pain, so it was socially acceptable to ignore them.
James disagreed. James tells his readers to restrain their speech and then release compassion. He believed that true religion cares about those in distress. Indifference is not acceptable.
Although there are some significant differences between now and then—people are still hurting. God still cares about the poor and loves when we look after those in distress around us.
You don’t have to travel far to find those in distress. They are working at your grocery store, living next door, running the company you work at and delivering your mail. The challenge for us is to find ways to look out for others in their distress. None of us can care for every need, but all of us can care for some.
IN YOUR CHAIR TIME TODAY
Pray that God would open your eyes to the needs of those around you. Open your hands and in humility ask him to reveal opportunities for you to care for someone near you who is distressed. Over the next few days, write down the tangible needs which come to mind and find a way to meet one or two this week or next.
Download a printable PDF of the BTW week here.