I should have explained this first, before I wrote my last post titled, Discrimination.

I should have identified the context of my last “Word of Encouragement.” I am a teacher and I teach 1st-12th grade. I also work with several k4-k5 students. Every day I witness conflict and judgment. And I work with adults, with whom I also witness and experience conflict. I am married and we have four children, with whom I also experience conflict. My daily dose of conflict and fighting has inspired me to write a message, and what I shared last was the beginning, or a modified introduction to the message. I am very serious about this message (as always), but I believe our relationships and our potential relationships will continue to suffer if we don’t make some changes, or at least consider allowing the Holy Spirit to change us. It appears that some people are blind to the toxicity of our relationships. Many people act like everything is okay, it’s not. I am sharing this because I would like for  my relationships, and your relationships to improve.

I titled the message, “You’ve Got a Friend in Me.” I thought of the Toy Story film and the conflict that involved Woody and Buzz Lightyear. Andy became jealous and frustrated with Buzz because he thought that Buzz was arrogant and proud. He did not realize that Buzz really didn’t understand who he was. Buzz needed to work some things out. Instead of Andy giving Buzz a little time and space (pun intended, space, get it?), and letting things work out. He felt the need to degrade and insult Buzz (Within a few minutes Andy called Buzz an idiot three times). Do you ever feel like Buzz? I do. And Buzz was angry with Woody because he thought Woody intentionally knocked him out of the window. Buzz never witnessed the compassion and care that Woody demonstrated as he led and helped the other toys. They misunderstood each other. All the other toys misunderstood Andy. Do you ever feel like Andy? I do. We often misunderstand each other (fill in the blank).

Remember the context of James 2 is a rebuke to the churches for treating the rich differently than the poor, their behavior established and encouraged distinctions between people. Applicable to us I am including more reasons that cause us to discriminate against one another and establish distinctions.

My brethren, have not the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, with respect of persons. James 2:1

Are ye not then partial in yourselves, and are become judges of evil thoughts? James 2:4

But if ye have respect to persons, ye commit sin, and are convinced of the law as transgressors. James 2:9

The message includes three main points.

  1. Avoid Discrimination
  2. Avoid Corrupt Communication
  3. Embody and Personify the Love of God/Jesus

Over the next few days I will elaborate on each point. Stay Tuned.