‘Favoritism’ Is An Unwelcome Evil’

“My brethren, do not hold the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, with partiality.  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,  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,” have you not shown partiality among yourselves, and become judges with evil thoughts?”   James 2:1-4

I thank God that Jesus was not “partial”  when it came to saving me!

The word “Partiality” is defined as a “favorable bias or prejudice” also as “favoritism”

I’m reminded of the Gospels where Jesus was determined to go through what the Jews of that time looked at as, ” and unfavorable route” towards Jerusalem and steer away from a city called Samaria.  They would purposely travel farther around as to avoid what they considered as unfavorable people.   Not only did Jesus take the “longer” most “Unfavorable” direction, but He did it to speak with one person, and a woman at that!  During that time it was considered ‘unfavorable’ to talk with a woman of a different belief.

Jesus set an example for all of us, that first off; we need to be on the alert, because we all have that old nature that wishes itself to be exalted above others, and to pre-judge someone whom we deem ‘unfavorable’.

This can happen in such  suttle ways.   Like the passage here in James where he was speaking directly to church people. You would think that ‘church people’ would be of the kind that would be loving everyone, every kind of people.   And yet, evidently this exhortation that needed to be written was happening.

That a church member would treat someone who ‘looked different’ whether in appearance, dress , etc. than themselves.  Our old flesh loves to consider itself as not only better than the person they’re looking at, but in qualifying or judging that other person and treating them with less regard as someone who would walk into church who was finely dressed, combed hair, shiny white teeth, and maybe even smelled good!

Jesus said that if we all loved Him, that we needed to obey His command, that we are to “love one another, as He has loved us”.   Wow! Are we guilty in any part the way we have ‘treated’ someone else?   Have we smiled and conversed with someone in line while we were purchasing our Subway sandwich, because they ‘looked good’?   How many of God’s ‘Samarian’s’  have we looked away from?  When God has given us the opportunity to represent Him, can we say, really that we did as Jesus did; go out of our way for someone that was looked at as ‘unfavorable’ by many?

It’s a pretty sad day when we pass up the person in front of us because they don’t fit the image we have of someone we want to ‘associate’ with.  It’s even worse when we are walking in or out if our local grocery store and see ‘pagans’ helping out, and giving the attention that Jesus gave to the Samaritan woman, regarding her as the most important person in our path today. Someone we chose to not pass by and disregard because of their appearance, or color of their skin.

This is a very important reminder for me, as I spend time being more around people who may or may not be saved, as I travel to the local store and see people of all different types. Am I smiling more broadly to someone I meet because I know them from church, am I ‘selecting’ the kind of person whom I will look in the eye, or the kind of person because they seem to have it all together treat them ‘better’?

I really like the way the Hawaiian Pidgin Translation of this passage reads, it brings it in way that seems so ‘different’ yet so ‘real’.

“Eh, my bruddas an sistas! You guys trus our awesome Boss, Jesus Christ.

So, no ony make nice to some peopo, an not to odda peopo, jus cuz you tink dey no look good. 

Wat if get two guys dat come to yoa church meeting. One guy get one gold ring, an he all dress up. An da odda guy poor, an ony get puka kine clotheses. 

 An den you guys tink, “Eh! Da guy wit da nice kine clotheses, check um out!” Den you guys make nice to him, an you tell um, “Come! Sit down hea on dis good seat!” But you tell da poor guy, “Eh, you! Stand ova dea!” o, “Sit down on da floor by my feet!” 

You guys stay ony make nice to some peopo, an not to odda peopo, cuz you tink dey no look good, an you making yoa own self da judge. But you guys all wrong, how you tinking.”

God help me, that I don’t fall back into the thought of being known as the guy who thinks that the ‘guy wit da nice kine clotheses” automatically gives me the impression that when given a choice….between the one that may ‘look good outwardly’ or the one who has torn, dirty smelly clothes’, that I give ‘favoritism’  to the one that looks more ‘popular’.

“Have you not shown partiality among yourselves, and become judges with evil thoughts?”

Bottom line, be and do as Jesus did on that long route through Samaria. I have a feeling that probably none of the disciples would have stopped or even considered the plight of that woman.  Who knows? You just may be talking to the next Steve Mays or Billy Graham!

It is good that we look towards each other on the same plain. Truth be said. we were all saved by the same Risen Jesus Christ. None of us have any business looking, or treating anyone, let alone someone in the body of Christ as unfavorable to the point of giving preferred treatment towards others first!  This passage concludes with the fact that this kind of behaviour  is “evil”.  Have I anything else to say?  God help me, convict me, lead me into the path of the ‘Samarian’.

Here’s today’s Video, It is WORTH viewing…….

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TJ2pYmKIOOg

 

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