When James wrote concerning a brother of “low degree” (James 1:9), we must remember that he
was writing from a human viewpoint. Only humans characterize one person as being of low degree
and another as being of high degree, because God is not a respecter of persons.
James was writing about a “brother”; that is, one who has trusted Jesus Christ as Saviour. Within
the family of God everyone is equal in God’s eyes. The low are exalted, the high are brought low.
God calls for lowliness of heart as seen in the Person of Jesus Christ.
The reason we should not be overly impressed by whether a person is of low estate or high estate
is that his earthly possessions have nothing to do with his relationship before God. Jesus pointed
out this truth by telling a parable about a rich man, who said, “I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast
much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry. But God said unto
him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be,
which thou hast provided?” (Luke 12:19-20).
Riches do not make a person better than anyone else, nor do riches prevent sickness or death.
Since Christ is meek and lowly in heart, those who know Him as Saviour and who allow Him to
live out His life through them will exhibit the same characteristics.
The Lord maketh poor, and maketh rich: he bringeth low, and lifteth up (1 Sam. 2:7).