1 My brethren, do not hold your faith in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ with an attitude of personal favoritism. 2 For if a man comes into your assembly with a gold ring and dressed in fine clothes, and there also comes in a poor man in dirty clothes, 3 and you pay special attention to the one who is wearing the fine clothes, and say, “You sit here in a good place,” and you say to the poor man, “You stand over there, or sit down by my footstool,” 4 have you not made distinctions among yourselves, and become judges with evil motives? 5 Listen, my beloved brethren: did not God choose the poor of this world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom which He promised to those who love Him? 6 But you have dishonored the poor man. Is it not the rich who oppress you and personally drag you into court? 7 Do they not blaspheme the fair name by which you have been called? 8 If, however, you are fulfilling the royal law according to the Scripture, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself,” you are doing well. 9 But if you show partiality, you are committing sin and are convicted by the law as transgressors.
Money is essential to the sustaining of most churches. As long as there is a property that has a mortgage or rent, lights that needs to be turned on, and pastors that need to support their families, money will always be a part of the picture. This is not necessarily a bad thing. It allows for many members to directly impact the ministries of the church with their support even without having the time, gifting, or passion for those ministries. It allows people to acknowledge in a tangible way that their finances are not their own. It also creates an opportunity for the church leadership to trust (or to demonstrate their lack of trust) in God’s complete control of the church’s future. I was reminded of this recently as I marveled at the faith of the very godly men that I get to serve with in leadership.