We’re currently studying through the Book of James at church and yesterday the pastor was expounding on James’ admonition in chapter 2:1-13 for believers not to show partiality. We’re really bad at this, right Christians? We’re trained by our culture to show partiality to the richest, the strongest, the prettiest, the smartest, etc. For some reason, I remembered something from my past that ties into this.
Growing up in a home with five older sisters, no brothers, and an emotionally distant father, I didn’t have much in the way of masculine role models. I began to have problems in fifth grade when the previously co-ed gym class was split into separate sessions for boys and girls. Most of the other boys at that age were starting to get rough and physical and gaining athletic prowess but that wasn’t my world yet.
Each year the gym teacher, Mrs. Miller (what a memory – like a steel trap!), picked two of the most athletic boys to be captains and every time we were to play some type of team sport, the captains would alternate picking from amongst the other boys to fill up their teams and I was always one of the last to be chosen as the gym teacher looked on approvingly. Sadist! Boy, that was humiliating! I used to wonder, “Why in this supposed Catholic (c)hristian school, would the gym teacher encourage something like this?” The torture continued for several years. Argh! By eighth grade I was starting to fill out a little and also trying hard to at least be somewhat competent when playing pickup football, baseball, and basketball games. I actually played football in my second year in high school although I was in way over my head.
So why harp on about a hurt from fifty years ago? I think we all have deep hurts from our past that we still think about. Maybe we were passed over because of our looks, or our dismal report cards, or our family’s lack of money, or our race or ethnicity, etc., etc. Kids can be very mean and so can adults.
I am so glad the Lord our God doesn’t show partiality. In fact, the Lord often uses the “weaker” people for His glory. The rich, powerful, and popular actually have a much harder time finding the humility to accept the Lord as their Savior than those of us who know what it’s like to be picked last.
“For consider your calling, brothers: not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, so that no human being might boast in the presence of God.” – 1 Corinthians 1:26-29
Thank you Lord, for choosing me!!! If I boast about anything, let me always boast about You!!! (1 Corinthians 1:31)