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Cliques are comfortable. It is the most natural thing to have special friends at church. As women, we gravitate to our favorite friends with hugs and rapid exchanges in animated conversation. BUT . . . let’s look at why we shouldn’t be in an exclusive clique.
A clique can also exclude other women who don’t fit into our group. They can feel left out and lonely. They might have a real need for encouragement but because they are not accepted, their need goes unmet.
The passage we are looking at today in James shows why you shouldn’t be in a “clique” with women at church. It isn’t saying that we shouldn’t have special friends but instead include others, not in our group of women.
Let’s dig right in!!
Digging Deeper: James 2:1-13
Key Verses: My brethren, have not the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory with respect of persons. For if there come into your assembly a (wo)man with a gold ring, in goodly apparel, and there come in also a poor (wo)man in vile raiment; And ye have respect to him that weareth the gay clothing, and say unto him, Sit thou here in a good place; and say to the poor, Stand thou there, or sit here under my footstool: Are ye not then partial in yourselves, and are become judges of evil thoughts? James 2:1-4
Are You in a Clique at Church?
James was written for either men or women but it is a book that will strengthen your growth as a godly woman.
Sometimes we can lose sight of where we are going. We can think we are doing all the right things so that we overlook something vitally important.
This passage is dealing with a common problem that we still deal with today.
It is talking about showing partiality or favoritism to people who are dressed better and wealthier than others who are not as ‘fortunate.’
Do you hang around so tightly with the women you feel most comfortable with at church, that you fail to reach out to someone who might need encouragement?
James says we are showing ‘favoritism’ when we only want to be around the most popular people who are dressed in the latest fashions.
This is a good reminder not to only associate with your favorite friends or ‘clique’ with the most popular women, neglecting to include the new lady or the one who isn’t dressed as nice.
When we stay with our favorite friends at the exclusion of others, James teaches us that we have discriminated among ourselves and become judges with evil thoughts. Our thoughts are evil when we favor someone based on how well off they are, even when we do this subconsciously.
This might seem like it is kind of blunt and to the point, but if you have ever felt forgotten in a group of women, you will know a little of what this is talking about.
Are You Left Out?
Growing up, I was never in the “IN” group, I was always on the fringes. Chances are you know what I mean.
Are you the one who is left out?
Hearken, my beloved brethren, Hath not God chosen the poor of this world rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which he hath promised to them that love him? (James 2:5)
What a precious verse!
I love the King James Version but sometimes the words used are not what we are accustomed to choosing in our daily conversation today.
Hearken means to listen. It is telling us that we are about to hear something very important.
- We are beloved or dear sisters in Christ.
- Do you struggle financially? It says that God has chosen those who are poor in this world to be rich in faith.
- You are a daughter of the King or heir of the kingdom.
- God has promised these things to those who love Him.
If you are the woman who is often left out, chosen last, and forgotten, I want to leave you with a challenge.
Recently I was at a women’s gathering at my church when I was drawn to reach out to the woman sitting to my right. The easiest thing would have been to turn and talk with the woman sitting on my left because I knew her.
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When you step out of your comfort zone to bless and encourage someone, the blessing returns to you!
Women don’t always show what they are feeling deep inside.
In reaching out, you might encourage a very lonely woman. She might be an ultra introvert and find it very difficult to take the first step in friendship.
She might be deeply hurting in some way.
You might have blessed her immeasurably.
Have you been caught in a clique with your friends at church? How are you going to reach out to women, not in your group?
Missed previous posts on the book of James? Go HERE!!