Pursuit & Pity
Listen, my dear brothers and sisters: Has not God chosen those who are poor in the eyes of the world to be rich in faith and to inherit the kingdom he promised those who love him? (James 2:5)
I suspect that James wrote these words while thinking of what he’d seen of God in his older half-brother: a God who called people to Himself who had nothing of significance to offer. Think about it:
God called Abraham when he was a childless nomad.
He called David when he was a young shepherd.
Jesus chose his closest confidants from the ranks of fishermen and outcasts.
God clearly doesn’t see value in the same way the world does. For the world, value is about potential return. The world values those who have something to offer and teaches us to invest in others who can return the favor, people with money, power and privilege.
But I’m not sure that “investing” is the right word for what God does. God pours into those the world would call bottomless pits, people who show no potential for showing a return. People for whom the world has only pity.
Conversely, some of God’s strongest warnings are directed at those who would seem like ideal investments. He says “woe to the rich” and “it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the Kingdom”. It almost sounds like He pities them.
It’s an interesting reversal, isn’t it? God pursues those the world pities and pities those the world pursues.
Makes you wonder what else we’ve gotten upside down, doesn’t it?