Don’t Favor, Be Fair
Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal any unconscious prejudices, biases or attitudes of superiority in you and remove them.
Read JAMES 2:1-13
 My brothers and sisters, believers in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ must not show favoritism.  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?  Listen, my dear brothers and sisters: 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. Is it not the rich who are exploiting you? Are they not the ones who are dragging you into court?  Are they not the ones who are blaspheming the noble name of him to whom you belong?  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.  For he who said, “You shall not commit adultery,” also said, “You shall not murder.” If you do not commit adultery but do commit murder, you have become a lawbreaker.  Speak and act as those who are going to be judged by the law that gives freedom,  because judgment without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful. Mercy triumphs over judgment. Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
ReflectWhy is "showing favoritism" condemned by James?
Because they are “believers” (1) Christians must not show partiality. They must reflect the character of their God, who does not discriminate against the poor (5, also Deut. 10:17,18). Jesus himself did not show favoritism but associated with all kinds of people without fear or favor—Jews, but also Samaritans; men, and also women; religious leaders as well as ordinary people.
James then proceeds to help his readers see what partiality looks like in practice (2-4). Some commentators suggest that the setting is a church court (as in 1 Cor. 6:1) rather than a worship service. Lady Justice is usually depicted blindfolded, since true justice is not influenced by differences of skin color, race, social or economic status and so on. Discriminating against the poor is not merely bad manners, or even simply a lack of love, but a perversion of justice, and thus evil (4). Winston Churchill once said: “Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference.” Underlying favoritism is an attitude that refuses to acknowledge God’s image in certain types of people (8,9). Hence favoritism is no minor mistake, but a grave sin (10,11).
Make an effort to acknowledge and respond to the image of God in someone you consider somehow inferior.
Lord, keep me from the sin of favoritism and help me to honor every person as someone made in Your image.
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