“My dear brothers and sisters, how can you claim to have faith in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ if you favor some people over others?” — James 2:1
I was once in a Sunday school class where we studied James 2. Yes, the entire chapter. I don’t know why we talked about the whole chapter, because I had trouble getting past the first verse before I felt convicted.
Most of that conviction came as I felt God reminding me of the way I treat certain people. It seems I’m a master at showing favoritism. How easy it is to favor those who favor me, approve of my ministry or writing and have a similar sense of humor. And I’m always in favor of those who know me best and still, for some unknown reason, choose to not only love me, but also like me.
However, this flies in the face of the basic teachings of Scripture. James, in writing to his fellow Jewish Christians, shows how partiality, favoritism and discrimination breaks the law of God – the law that tells us to love our neighbor as our self. Furthermore, James uses a Greek construction in this verse that shows he is not prohibiting something they may do, but forbidding a practice that is already in progress.
Perhaps this is why the verse bothered me: I knew I was already in violation of God’s law. Continue Reading