James 2:1-5 (NRSV)

1 My brothers and sisters,  do you with your acts of favoritism really believe in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ?   2 For if a person with gold rings and in fine clothes comes into your assembly, and if a poor person in dirty clothes also comes in, 3 and if you take notice of the one wearing the fine clothes and say, “Have a seat here, please,” while to the one who is poor you say, “Stand there,” or, “Sit at my feet,”   4 have you not made distinctions among yourselves, and become judges with evil thoughts? 5 Listen, my beloved brothers and sisters.  Has not God chosen the poor in the world to be rich in faith and to be heirs of the kingdom that he has promised to those who love him?   

Acts 10:34 (NRSV)

34 Then Peter began to speak to them: “I truly understand that God shows no partiality,   

DEVOTION – Tim Wood (Tennessee)

When I entered the grocery store, he caught my attention immediately.  The young man was of a different race than I.  He had an unusual haircut and was dressed in a manner that I considered offensive.  He looked out of place.

After shopping, I went to the self-checkout to pay for my groceries.  Fumbling with the items and my wallet, I scanned my groceries and paid for them.  As I walked out of the store, I felt a tap on my shoulder.  I turned around to see the man I had noticed earlier.  He handed me my wallet.  I had not realized that I had dropped it.

As much as I was relieved to have my wallet returned, I was ashamed at how I had “profiled: this young man.  As a teacher, I have worked successfully with students of many races and nationalities.  I should have known better than to make assumptions about someone based on their race and appearance.  Thankfully, God does not judge us by our appearance.  I re-learned a valuable lesson that day about not judging people by the way they look.

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: God sees what is inside each of us.

PRAYER: Holy God, help us to see the best in everyone and to look beyond outward appearances.  Amen.