January 30, 2020
Do not show favoritism
“My brothers and sisters, believers in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ must not show favoritism.” James 2: 1
Today’s text teaches us to show equality. In our text James, the brother of Jesus, speaks against showing favoritism as children of God. We cannot treat some people good while ignoring others and mistreating them. James gave this example:
“Suppose someone comes into your assembly dressed in fancy clothes and expensive jewelry, and another comes in who is poor and dressed in dirty clothes. If you give special attention and a good seat to the rich person, but you say to the poor one, “you can stand over there, or else sit on the floor”- well, doesn’t this discrimination show that your judgements are guided by evil motives?
Friends, those who believe in God are called to treat the rich, the poor, the educated and the not so educated in the same manner. We cannot treat the rich and educated better than how we treat the poor and not so educated. We cannot speak ill, or speak down to others, because we feel that they are below us. This type of behavior is not reflective of Jesus. In fact it is contrary to the teachings of God. Matthew 7:1-2 states, “Do not judge, or you will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”
Showing favouritism means we have judged others. Our role as Christians is not to judge others, that role belongs to God. Our role is to love everyone as depicted by the second greatest commandment, “Love your neighbor as yourself.” We have allowed the world’s standard to impress us- being well spoken, good education, richness, fame and the likes- while ignoring those who are in need. James encourages us to view everyone on the same level. He encourages us to have the same respect for everyone. He encourages us to treat the poor just like how we would treat the Prime Minister or anyone else in authority. We must remember it is not the fancy clothes that impress God, it is the sincerity of heart.
In like manner, the poor should not show favouritism and speak ill of the rich or of each other. As Christians we all are called to show love and care to each other. We have to be careful of the cliques we form at church that cause division amongst church members as you favour one group over the other.
Until next remember to treat everyone the same, that is with love and respect.