Are You a NO Respecter?
As I sat down for my morning devotions yesterday, I read these words of St. Peter from Acts 10:34 “I perceive that God is NO RESPECTER of persons”. RESPECTER: a person whose attitude and behavior is influenced by consideration of another’s rank, power, ethnicity, religion, culture, social class, wealth, etc. A “No RESPECTER” is someone who treats everyone else in the same manner regardless of their status or wealth.
God is NO RESPECTER of us. We ALL have access to God’s mercies and blessings. He loves each and everyone of us. That’s why He gave His only begotten Son, Jesus, so that we would believe and live in the royal family FOREVER! The prerequisite is acknowledging Him as our Father and we are His beloved children that love and respect their “Dad”.
How does God feel about whether or not we are RESPECTER of persons. It’s easy to love, respect and honor the clean, nicely dress, well-mannered people that look like us, smell like us and behave like us, but is that God’s example to us? He is NO RESPECTER of persons. In other words – the homeless people that beg on the street corners, or that road-rage guy that honked at us, or that disrespectful sales clerk, that angry politician who used disparaging words, that neighbor who revved up their motorcycle in their driveway AGAIN, or the person who just doesn’t have the same color of skin as we do.? The question is “Do we show discrimination toward others? Where there is RESPECTER of persons – there are always divisions, resentments and hostilities. Where there is NO “RESPECTER” of persons and impartial treatment of all, we find mercy, love, unity and, above all, PEACE!
“Jesus loves the little children, all the children of the world. Red and yellow, black and white, they are precious in His sight. Jesus loves the little children of the world.” This little song was written by George Frederick Root in 1864, right in the middle of the Civil War. There were many causes for the Civil War, but slavery was cited as the main cause. There were many other political and cultural differences between the North and the South that also contributed to the GREAT DIVIDE between the two.
I couldn’t help but think about the GREAT DIVIDE in America today. It seems the writer of that little song was trying to bring an awareness that WE are ALL God’s children. The common denominator we have is God and His love for humanity. We are all precious in God’s sight and He was encouraging us to see His children as He sees and loves them — like little children who have no prejudices. They just love. In Matthew 18:4-5, Jesus invited us to come to Him “like little children” and said “whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.”
Maybe it’s time for a check-up from the neck-up. Are we a NO respecter of persons or are we partial to some and not others? Are our children just like us — they are kind because we are kind; they are impartial to others because we show no partiality; they are tenderhearted to those who are down and out, because we emulate tenderheartedness daily. They love regardless of background, race, class or financial status. Just like us!! Or, are they just like us in the opposite ways. What is our reaction to the poor? The needy? Do we show favoritism? When it comes to the “Love your neighbor as you love yourself” TEST, will we pass it OR flunk it? 1 John 4:11 “If God so loved us, we ought also to love one another.”