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? Listen, my beloved brethren: Has God not chosen the poor of this world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom which He promised to those who love Him? But you have dishonored the poor man. Do not the rich oppress you and drag you into the courts? Do they not blaspheme that noble name by which you are called? If you really fulfill the ROYAL LAW according to the Scripture, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself,” you do well; but if you show partiality, you commit sin, and are convicted by the law as transgressors. For whoever shall keep the whole law, and yet stumble in one point, he is guilty of all. – James 2:1-10.
When I was in the third grade to celebrate my birthday I invited all the boys in my class to come home with me after school and spend the night. Actually, I didn’t want to invite every one to my birthday party. I just wanted to invite every boy except for one to my party. The sad situation was that this one boy and his siblings were ostracized by all the other kids because they were poor. Ostracized is a polite way of saying that the other kids made their lives miserable. It wasn’t that any of the rest of us were rich but they did not have as much as our families did. When I told my mother I was going to invite all the boys but one she had other plans. Her plan was that I invite all the boys or not have a party at all. It was a difficult thing to do but I invited Carl (Not his real name.) to the party. I’ve been glad ever since that I did and proud of my mother for doing the right thing.
Not long ago Carl unexpectedly came by to visit us. He was working in the area and wanted to say hello. I had not seen him in over 20 years and we were able to catch up some on each other’s lives. Oh, and Carl mentioned again about the birthday party that he had been at in the third grade at my house. I consider Carl and his family my friends and since they know the Lord we will be for eternity. Thank God that my mother knew to do the right thing even if I didn‘t!
James in just ten short verses says quite a bit about partiality and repeats himself trying to get the point across. In Scripture when something is repeated it is because it is of much importance and it may be that we have a problem with it. We are of equal value in God’s eyes. If it had only been Carl – Jesus would still have died for him. Every person on this earth has immense, incomprehensible value to God. The next time that we are tempted to be partial to one person over another let us look at them through the eyes of Jesus.
(How to follow the royal law – Part 1.)