Treating People with Equality
My brothers, show no partiality as you hold the faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory (James 2:1)
Have you ever felt like people were treating you different than others? Have you ever felt like you were mistreated because of a belief that you had, or for the clothes you were wearing, or because of something you said?
Most of us have had this experience and for most of us, it hurts.
God hates this type of behavior and we see this in our verse for today. James uses the word “partiality”. To be partial to someone means that you would show someone special favor. This isn’t always bad. A father might show special favor to his son in ways that he wouldn’t to his son’s friends. A husband might rightly show special favor to his wife that he would never show to other women.
But in the context of the book of James, he is exhorting his hearers to stop showing special favor to certain groups of people and to treat everyone the same. In James’ day there were groups of people who were tempted to mistreat other groups of people and James wants them to know that this does not honor God. Everyone should have equal value because all are valuable in the sight of God.
In the history of our country, sadly, African-American people were often mistreated by white people because of the color of their skin. White people would be partial to other white people and by implication this hurt many black people. God hates this type of attitude and James makes that clear.
Read Genesis 1:26, 27
• What does God creating humans in his image have to do with this verse? (All humans have equal value because they are created in the image of God.)
• Are you tempted to be partial to certain types of people?
Our Father, help us to love as you love. Help us to see the image of you in everyone that you have made. We are tempted to be selfish and unloving. Forgive us for this because of Jesus. May the world know that we are your children by the way we love each other and those who don’t know you. May you use our love as a witness to the truth of who you are. In Jesus’ name, Amen.