Bible reading: James 2:1-12
1 My brethren, do not hold the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, with partiality. 2 For if there should come into your assembly a man with gold rings, in fine apparel, and there should also come in a poor man in filthy clothes, 3 and you pay attention to the one wearing the fine clothes and say to him, “You sit here in a good place,” and say to the poor man, “You stand there,” or, “Sit here at my footstool,” 4 have you not shown partiality among yourselves, and become judges with evil thoughts?
5 Listen, my beloved brethren: Has God not chosen the poor of this world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom which He promised to those who love Him? 6 But you have dishonored the poor man. Do not the rich oppress you and drag you into the courts? 7 Do they not blaspheme that noble name by which you are called?
8 If you really fulfill the royal law according to the Scripture, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself,” you do well; 9 but if you show partiality, you commit sin, and are convicted by the law as transgressors. 10 For whoever shall keep the whole law, and yet stumble in one point, he is guilty of all. 11 For He who said, “Do not commit adultery,” also said, “Do not murder.” Now if you do not commit adultery, but you do murder, you have become a transgressor of the law. 12 So speak and so do as those who will be judged by the law of liberty. (NKJV)
“Favouritism” means to show favour to certain people while treating others unfairly. It is to make distinctions on the basis of exterior considerations.
God does not have favourites and He offers salvation to all who place their trust in Him.
God does not put you aside because you are “too this” or “too that”. He loves you no matter about your appearance, your personality, your family situation, your faults, your sins... He does not reserve His gifts for certain favourite people.
The greatest gift that He has for you is salvation in Jesus Christ. You need this gift because your sins are separating you from God. In His generosity, He sent His Son to die for you. Jesus rose again and is alive to offer you the gift of forgiveness and life. If you have not already accepted this gift, wouldn’t you like to reach out to Him in faith? If you receive Jesus as Saviour and submit to Him as your Lord, you too can be saved and greatly blessed.
Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world.
- James 1:27 NKJV
God wants you to exercise your judgement concerning your friends. What are good criteria?
You must be particularly attentive to their spiritual and moral life in order to determine how much time to spend with them and what influence you will allow them to have on you. Exercising your own judgement in this way is not only justified, but essential.
In the passage we are studying, James denounces something else: quick, superficial judgement, which is wrong and leads to despising people. That is not right!
What could you do in a practical way in the coming days to follow God’s example?
Think of those whom you see at school, in music class, at the sports club or at church.
Perhaps you know a young person who is rejected because he is different. Would you like to try to show an interest in that person in the coming days? Sometimes you meet people who don’t have much money. Will you look at them with God’s love? Will you manage to help them as you can afford it? Ask God to help you during the week to share a little of the love you have received.
God does not judge based on social status, wealth, or appearance. God evaluates a person based on his heart (1 Sam. 16:7). We must do the same, as far as we are able, based on the qualities of faith, hope, and love. We show that we are looking at the heart when we do not favor the rich over the poor in our churches.