No Partiality

Then Peter opened his mouth and said: “In truth I perceive that God shows no partiality. But in every nation whoever fears Him and works righteousness is accepted by Him. The word which God sent to the children of Israel, preaching peace through Jesus Christ – He is Lord of all. – Acts 10:34-36.

…but glory, honor, and peace to everyone who works what is good, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For there is no partiality with God. – Romans 2:10-11.

But from those who seemed to be something – whatever they were, it makes no difference to me; God shows personal favoritism to no man – for those who seemed to be something added nothing to me. – Galatians 2:6.

A study has been released which was conducted at the University of Oslo indicating there is partiality with sentencing of criminals. The apparent partiality is based on a person’s appearance but in this study those surveyed did not actually see a photo but read the words “handsome” and “pretty” describing the person to be sentenced. The five hundred university students surveyed were harsher in their sentences for individuals when the words “handsome” and “pretty” were not used in descriptions of those to be sentenced. Criminals with an appearance that was described as “handsome” or “pretty” would have received sentences 20% lighter if they were actually sentenced by the students. In more severe crimes like murder the more attractive had a 10% advantage. Per Schioldborg who is a psychology professor at the University said, “We put in a simple word and found that the attractiveness stereotype was activated.”

It is a fact of life in most societies that the attractive individual has many advantages including advantages in regard to employment, educational placement, social life, and more. We as human beings have a natural inclination to be partial in our relationships and interactions with others over a broad spectrum. Most of us have been on the receiving end of one form or another of partiality by others. Usually such partiality when experienced in the negative is not very pleasant and sometimes affects people for life.

The good news is that God is not a respecter of persons or that has partiality based on certain qualities that a person may or not have. Luke records this in the Book of Acts and Paul observes that this is true of God in his letters to the Romans and Ephesians. But there is even more good news in that God can supernaturally remove our prejudice or discriminatory partiality from us. We see this happening with Peter who Luke records has his heart changed about the Gospel being for Gentiles (those not Jewish) as well as for the Jew. The Scriptures record only one relapse for Peter (Galatians 2:12) but he was confronted about this by Paul and it appears God once again convicted Peter about this issue.

Do you have partiality toward some individuals over others? Do you harbor prejudice in your heart toward those who may be different from you? Allow God to change your heart!

(God is not a respector of persons and we should not be either.)

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