Read: James 2:1-13
Reflect: Doesn’t God have an awful lot of attributes? Think about it. He is omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscient, holy, immutable (changeless). He’s eternal, righteous, good, and just. (I better stop there, otherwise I’ll use up my allotted words!) To put it simply, He is a perfect and holy God. However, there is one attribute which we often forget to mention: His impartiality. It is God’s nature to be fair to every human being, treating everyone with the same love and respect that He wants His children to treat people.
This of course is not the case for most of us in how we behave, for we tend to judge people, to put them in a box until we decide how we want to treat them. We group them according to the clothes they are wearing, the kind of cars they drive, the way they talk, their ethnicity, where they live and by their social status. Are they on Twitter, Instagram, or Tik Tok? (Hey, it makes a difference).
If we wanted to follow the example of our Lord, we would listen to what Moses said, “For the Lord your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great God, mighty and awesome, who shows no partially and accepts no bribes” (Deuteronomy 10:17). Here’s my version of James 2:2-4: Suppose a man comes and visits your church wearing an Brioni Vanquish suit (think James Bond’s wardrobe), driving a Lamborghini and carrying a cowhide, leatherbound David Jeremiah Study Bible (they’re very expensive…). The usher greets the man in the vestibule and immediately escorts him to the front of the church where he is seated and offered a fan for his personal use. (The AC isn’t working that day). In the meantime, a fellow comes to the door dressed in Bermuda shorts, flip flops and wearing cheap cologne. The usher sizes him up and leads him to the overflow, in the basement, just behind the boiler in the sweltering heat. That is called: favoritism!
An impartial God doesn’t show favoritism. Neither should we. James tells us in verses 8 and 9 that when we show favoritism, we break the law, and breaking the law is sin. Now you’re probably thinking: “So what? I know I shouldn’t play favorites with people but compared to other people’s sins, that one doesn’t seem to garner much attention.” Wrong! James says in verse 10, “For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it.” It’s like playing Jenga, you keep stacking those blocks until they are so high, then you must pull one more block out from the bottom. Guess what, they all come crashing down. Is it because the top ten blocks were tilting to the right and then to the left? No, it was because you pulled out just one block, and that is what brought down the tower. One sin is all it takes to be considered a sinner.
Apply: Remember this about sin: First of all, it can’t be minimized. Second, it can’t be ignored. Live and act as a true believer who has been saved by God’s grace and fully lives on the basis of Christ own righteousness. If you are truly a believer, then your behavior should mirror your faith. So, as you go about your day today, treat everyone fairly and do not judge them in your own mind. Better yet, just treat everyone as you would want to be treated; to never leave anyone seated “behind the boiler”.