Boy Meets Janitor – Today’s Youth Devotion

Boy Meets Janitor

Bible Reading: James 2:1-9

It is good when you truly obey our Lord’s royal command found in the Scriptures: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” James 2:8

AN EPISODE OF the ABC television series Boy Meets World once depicted the horror of Shawn (one of the main characters, played by Rider Strong) when his father got a new job—as the school janitor! Shawn was horrified that his father would be mopping up spills and cleaning toilets in front of Shawn’s friends and classmates! He became upset with his father for taking the job. He was angry at the principal, Mr. Feeney, for hiring his father. The whole thing seemed to be an adult conspiracy meant to embarrass Shawn and shame him in front of the whole school.

How would you feel if your father was your school’s janitor? (Maybe he is.) How would you feel if your mom cleaned for a living? (Maybe she does.) What if your family were poor compared to everyone else on the block? (Maybe they are.)

You know what the Bible’s answer would be to those questions?

Big deal.

That’s right, big deal. So what if your dad’s a janitor or your mom’s a cleaning lady? So what if your family is the poorest in your neighborhood? Big deal. “My dear brothers and sisters,” the Bible says, “how can you claim that you have faith in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ if you favor some people more than others?” (James 2:1).

The Bible makes it clear that everyone—rich or poor, janitor or principal, cleaning lady or movie star, native or foreigner—deserves to be treated with respect. It doesn’t matter what color a person is. It doesn’t matter what job a person has. It doesn’t matter whether a person is a man or a woman, a boy or a girl. It doesn’t matter how much money a person has or what kind of house he or she may live in. It doesn’t matter how much a person may weigh or how far he or she can hit a baseball. According to God, we should respect all people because all people were created in God’s image. God values all his children, rich and poor, male and female, black and white, short and tall, young and old and in between. And you know what else? We should too.

REFLECT: Why does God command us to respect everyone, not just certain people? Have you ever favored some people more than others? Have you treated certain people (rich, “important,” and so on) with respect while ignoring others? How can you do better at treating everyone with respect?

ACT: Make a special effort today to show respect to everyone—including school janitors, bus drivers, butchers, bakers, and candlestick makers!

PRAY: “Lord, I’m really sorry about the time when I wasn’t very respectful to ___________. Help me to show your love and kindness to all of your children.”