Don't Show Partiality

"My brothers, show no partiality as you hold the faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory." -James 2:1

In this passage of Scripture, James is very adamant about the sinfulness of partiality. Partiality, in the context of this Scripture, is thinking of certain people as better than other people and treating them differently because of it. You may not think that you do this, but be careful to dismiss this quickly. This is not just about poor and rich people, as the passage talks about. This is really about all people. How might you be treating people differently? Do you treat people of other races differently than your own? Do you treat people from a certain region of the country better than those from another region? Do you treat men better than women or women better than men? Do you treat people differently based on their age? Do you think of people with mental illness as less than those without mental illness? Do you treat Christians better than Buddhists or Muslims? All of these are examples of showing partiality, to which James says, "...you are committing sin and are convicted by the law as transgressors." (James 2:9)

This is really an issue of loving our neighbors as ourselves. Jesus says in Mark 12:31 to "love your neighbor as yourself." Paul says in Romans 13:10 that "love is fulfilling of the law." James 2:8 says, "If you really fulfill the royal law according to the Scripture, 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself,' you are doing well." If you show partiality, you are not loving someone as you would love yourself. John would go as far as to say, "If anyone says, 'I love God,' and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen." (1 John 4:20)

Put aside your prejudices and partiality and strive to love everyone. There is not a person on this planet who should be an exception to our love. Be filled with God's Spirit, and treat everyone as if they are Christ himself. I will conclude with Hebrews 13:2 - "Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares."

Matt KellyComment