Dealing with partiality! (Discrimination)

Scripture reading for October 6th: James 2

Key Scriptures: James 2:1-4 “My brothers, show no partiality as you hold the faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory. For if a man wearing a gold ring and fine clothing comes into your assembly, and a poor man in shabby clothing also comes in, and if you pay attention to the one who wears the fine clothing and say, “You sit here in a good place,” while you say to the poor man, “You stand over there,” or “Sit down at my feet,” have you not then made distinction among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts?”

James now begins to deal with the sin of discrimination in the church. There were those who were showing partiality to people of higher social and economic status and elevating them while treating people of poorer economic and social status with deference. James calls them out and tells them that they are acting as judges and that this type of thinking is evil. We can apply this teaching in many ways in our culture and time. We may discriminate against people on the basis of their race or ethnic background. We may show partiality to people of like political persuasion and shun or treat as second class citizens those we disagree with. As James says, this is wrong and we are acting in pride and judging people. Times may change but the sins are the same! The remedy is allowing God’s love for all to flow.

James 2:8-9 “If you really fulfill the royal law according to the Scripture, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself,” you are doing well. But if you show partiality, you are committing sin and are convicted by the law as transgressors.”

Faith confession and prayer: Father God, thank You for the royal law of loving my neighbor as myself. I thank You also that You are not partial and that you show perfect love and justice and are the only One capable of judging. Forgive me for showing partiality and help me to value each person as precious and love them as my neighbor and myself.

James 2:13 “For judgment is without mercy to one who has shown no mercy. Mercy triumphs over judgment.”

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