By: Lisa Wilmore
My brothers and sisters, believers in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ must not show favoritism (respect of person).
Suppose a man comes into your meeting wearing a gold ring and fine clothes, and a poor man in filthy old clothes also comes in. If you show special attention to the man wearing fine clothes and say, “Here’s a good seat for you,” but say to the poor man, “You stand there” or “sit on the floor by my feet,” have you not discriminated among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts?
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? But you have dishonored the poor.
If you really keep the royal law found in Scripture, “Love your neighbor as yourself,” you are doing right. But if you show favoritism, you sin and are convicted by the law as
lawbreakers. For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it (Selected Scriptures from James 2:1-10 NIV).
How many times have we witnessed or been guilty of showing partiality to certain individuals or groups because of their financial and/or popularity status? How often do we reach out to the “haves” when they experience a crisis, but consistently neglect the “have not’s” who really need help in their time of trouble. Well, James, the writer of the aforementioned text, warns christians against favoring the rich or those persons who appear to have wealth.
Futhermore, God is not pleased when favoritism is shown of one individual over another. “For there is no respect of person with God” (Romans 2:11). In fact, He died for everyone. He sees all of us as equals. In addition, James writes to the christians, “If you show favoritism, you sin and are convicted by the law as lawbreakers.”
It is important to realize that showing the rich, a certain child or family member favoritism is not the behavior God requires of us. Although many of us may be guilty of this act, we must thank Jesus for his blood and forgiveness.
My friends, do you remember the story of Joseph (Genesis 37:1-35) and how his father openly favored him? This favoritism led to the sin of jealous brothers, the unfavored. When individuals favor specific family, church, community members, etc., the unfavored may become jealous which could lead to sin…
Next week, “if the Lord will”, we will talk about, “the unfavored and their jealousy”.