It’s that bias we sometimes carry, showing unfair favoritism based on appearances. You may know it as favoritism, discrimination, or simply judging a book by its cover.
Part 1: Favoritism Forbidden
In James 2:1, James tells us, “My brothers and sisters, believers in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ must not show favoritism.” Plain and simple, folks. Believers in Jesus and partiality don’t mix. While the world might embrace partiality, it has no place in our church.
Part 2: The Problem with Partiality
James offers a vivid example in James 2:2-4. Imagine a scenario where a well-dressed person and another in shabby attire walk into a gathering. If we treat the well-dressed one with favor and neglect the other, we’re guilty of discrimination. It’s not about wealth; it’s about showing honor to one and disrespect to another.
Let’s remember Ananias’ encounter with Saul’s transformation into Paul. We need to value people as God does, not based on their appearance. How many folks are hurting because our biases and discrimination are keeping us from seeing them as God’s children?
Part 3: God’s Perspective on Partiality
In James 2:5-7, we see God’s perspective. He chooses the poor to be rich in faith and inherit His kingdom. But, our partiality dishonors the poor while the rich may be exploiting us. Just like Jesus said in Matthew 5:3, “Blessed are the poor in spirit.” That’s about humility, not pride.
We’re all lost and hopeless without Jesus. When we’re adopted into God’s family, we become rich as heirs of the Kingdom. God’s promise isn’t just for a select few—it’s for everyone.
Part 4: Love Your Neighbor as Yourself
James 2:8-11 reminds us of the royal law: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” If we show favoritism, we’re in sin. God doesn’t play favorites, as Deuteronomy 10:17 tells us. Let’s practice what we preach and remember that we all stand equally before God.
James offers a beautiful solution—mercy. Mercy triumphs over judgment. When we show mercy to others, we reflect the mercy God showed us by withholding what we deserved. Mercy should guide us away from partiality and lead us to love our neighbors as ourselves.
In conclusion, let’s steer clear of the trap of partiality. Remember, God sees us through the lens of mercy and love. Like Jesus, the only truly rich one, came to serve and lay down His life for us, we should value people as God does and love our neighbors with the same love. Let’s heed James’s wisdom and live out the royal law of love, free from the sin of partiality.
– Erick Cordero