2 My brothers and sisters, believers in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ must not show favoritism. 2 Suppose a man comes into your meeting wearing a gold ring and fine clothes, and a poor man in filthy old clothes also comes in. 3 If you show special attention to the man wearing fine clothes and say, “Here’s a good seat for you,” but say to the poor man, “You stand there” or “Sit on the floor by my feet,” 4 have you not discriminated among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts? 5 Listen, my dear brothers and sisters: Has not God chosen those who are poor in the eyes of the world to be rich in faith and to inherit the kingdom he promised those who love him? 6 But you have dishonored the poor. Is it not the rich who are exploiting you? Are they not the ones who are dragging you into court? 7 Are they not the ones who are blaspheming the noble name of him to whom you belong?
In this passage, James says that we shouldn’t show favouritism. In some translations, he even implies that favoritism contradicts our faith.
He is ultimately questioning the motives of our hearts. We will always have different relationships in our lives, and different levels of commitment and time for various people. What James says is that no matter the person, no matter the nature of the relationship, we need to treat everyone with the same love that Christ has shown us, a 1 Corinthians 13 kind of love.
Love isn’t always easy. In and of ourselves, it’s impossible to love everyone. This is why we have the Holy Spirit to always point us back to Jesus, and to empower us to abundantly and indiscriminately love everyone around us.
Father God, help me to love everyone in my world, no matter who they are. Help me to let Your Spirit in to my heart each day, and to treat each person in my world the same way Jesus treats me.
Written by Matt Samperi