March 31 I Give Up: “Partiality & Prejudice” – James 2:1-9 ~McKenzi Fenn
Recently a meme has been circulating through Facebook that states “You will never look into the eyes of someone God does not love. Always be kind.” While the quote is anonymous, the person who originally spoke these words appears to possess a great deal of wisdom. Perhaps he or she has even been on the receiving end of prejudice. Have you?
Maybe you felt excluded because your style wasn’t current, your car wasn’t new, or your income wasn’t enough. Maybe you have felt isolated because your political views didn’t align with your co-workers or shunned because your faith in Christ offended the atheist neighbor next door. The sting of favoritism is sharp.
How fortunate we are that God is absolutely impartial in his love for us! He doesn’t look at us and see our salaries, our wardrobes, or our professions. He is not impressed by how much money we have saved in the bank, how many friends we have on social media, or how many likes our last Instagram received. His ways are not like ours! He is able to love all people without showing any favoritism.
Consequently, the love we show for others must also be impartial. We must be careful not to categorize people based on their quirks or appearances. When we give labels to those around us, we start down a slippery slope that can quickly lead to showing favoritism. We need to give up this habit altogether because scripture teaches that this behavior is sinful.
Ask the Lord to reveal ways in which you show favoritism toward others, repent of this sin, and remember that every person you encounter is deeply loved by God.
Questions to Consider:
Recall a time that you felt the pain of prejudice. How did you move past that offense?
What are tangible ways you can avoid showing favoritism toward others?
Do you think favoritism exists in the church today? If so, how can we eliminate it?
In this passage, is James condemning the wealthy and exalting the poor?
How can you “love your neighbor as yourself” at home, at church, at work, and in your community?