Christlike Character in Oppression (James 5:6) ~ A Daily Devotion for March 19, 2014

“You have condemned and murdered the righteous person. He does not resist you.” ~ James 5:6

Explanation of the Text: The culmination of James’ condemnation of the rich is found here in verse 6, in which he says they have condemned and murdered the righteous person. In their oppression of the poor believers, they have condemned, or judged the righteous person. However, the righteous, because of the character they are called to have do not resist them. “The laborers whose Christian character had restrained them from rebelliousness are innocent of any crime, certainly of any against the rich. But rather than being rewarded for their worthwhile labor they supplied to the rich, these day laborers had been made to suffer for applying their faith to their work.”[1]

Examination & Application of the Text: The character traits of two type of people are on display here. The first is the rich, being all consumed with their wealth, they condemn and oppress those who are not. This type of character is contrary to what God would call people to have. However, on the opposite side are the character traits of the righteous. Even in times of trials, the righteous depicts Godly character through humble submission. It is this character that seeks to demonstrate a Christlikeness of a true believer.

[1] Kurt A. Richardson, James, vol. 36, The New American Commentary (Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 1997), 213.

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