It is natural to have favorites. We all have preferred colors, foods, movies and even friends. When we classify a favorite, we are passing judgment. We deem particular items more desirable than others. This is appropriate as we experience a variety of foods or movies or relationships. Again, this is human nature. At the same time, most of us would agree that favoritism is dangerous. When we are partial toward people for racial, ethnic or economic reasons, we are out of line. We have passed judgment on them because of particular distinctions. We have unfairly judged them.
Favoritism was going on in the early church; James was not happy about it. He clearly states,
(James 2:1 NIV) My brothers, as believers in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ, don’t show favoritism
James then describes a scenario of two church visitors. One is rich and the other is poor. The rich visitor is offered the best seat while the poor visitor is left to sit on the floor. James is repulsed by this behavior. His words of rebuke are strong. James challenges Christians to model God’s heart for the poor and warns them of severe judgment if they fail to extend mercy. Join us on Sunday as we explore James 2:1-13.
(James 2:12–13 NIV) Speak and act as those who are going to be judged by the law that gives freedom, because judgment without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful. Mercy triumphs over judgment!