Verse of the Day Devotion: James 2:1
“My brethren, do not hold your faith in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ with an attitude of personal favoritism.” – James 2:1
In this verse, James is laying out the command that we are not to show favoritism toward anyone. We are all one body together and we all have different functions within the body. And none of these are more important than another. Let us look at the next couple of verses that lays it our perfectly. “For if a man comes into your assembly with a gold ring and dressed in fine clothes, and there also comes in a poor man in dirty clothes, and you pay special attention to the one who is wearing the fine clothes, and say, you sit here in a good place, and you say to the poor man, you stand over there, or sit down by my footstool,” James 2:2-3. This is not right in any shape or form. How can we judge someone by their appearance? If we do, we are not judging by God’s standard but by our own.
Lets look at these two examples. I will assume that we do not know either. First, if we show favoritism to the rich man, it is probably because we feel it will be to our advantage. We will be with a prominent and probably important person. If we can develop a relationship with him, it could help lift our stature in the eyes of others. They will see that we are with him and this may help us to gain greater esteem. And by placing this rich man away from us at the same time we believe this will add to that advantage. We may not think this way, but if we favor one thing over another, it is because we believe we will benefit from it. And unfortunately it is the same with people.
Now, lets look at how these two people would take what we have done. The rich man will see he has an advantage because we have accepted him immediately. But what of the poor man? Will he feel accepted? No. And this is probably how his whole life has been. We just look at him and determine there is no advantage of being with him, so we set him aside and leave him alone. How does this make the poor man feel? Probably rejected once again. Is this how we wish to be treated? “Treat others the same way you want them to treat you.” Luke 6:31.
Now, I am not trying to accuse anyone. I am simply describing this idea to an extreme. What I am saying is that all people need to know they are as accepted as anyone else. When I was growing up, I was ostracized by most of the kids in school. I grew up in a poor family, wore hand-me-downs or cheap versions of clothing. I wanted friends, but many would not give me any time, but hung out with the popular ones. Finally, I found someone in my same position and I finally had a friend. It was hard and debasing. No one should ever treat anyone this way. And God does not want us to favor one person over another. We are equal in His sight. He loves us all equally and provided salvation to us equally. We are to be like Christ; therefore we are to treat everyone the same. I pray we can, as children of God, fulfill this and show love to everyone we meet. Who knows what incredible work can be accomplished by this simple act of love.
William Funkhouser MDiv, ThD, Founder and President of True Devotion Ministries.