and you pay special attention to the one who is wearing the fine clothes, and say, "You sit here in a good place," and you say to the poor man, "You stand over there, or sit down by my footstool,"James 2:3(NASB)
James is challenging his brothers in Christ to examine their motives to see if they are godly or hypocritical. He is pointing out that faith in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ should not reflect an attitude of personal favouritism - and then he goes on to give a brilliant example of hypocrisy that can be found in the lives of many Christians.. even inside the doors of certain Church fellowships.
He presents a Church assembly where two strangers enter into a meeting. One is a poverty-stricken man who is disheveled and dressed in rags, while the other is elegant, well dressed and obviously wealthy. The rich gentleman is graciously escorted to the best seat in the place with much obeisance and flamboyance.. while the poor man is quickly pushed into a corner, denied a seat and treated in an inferior manner, lest his presence might cause the rest of the congregation some embarrassment.
But sadly, discrimination in Christian circles goes far beyond riches or poverty. This sort of bias too often touches colour, class, race and gender and it can also go two way. Rich can discriminate against the poor and the poor can can be biased against the rich. White can show prejudice against black and vice versa.
All hypocrisy and ungodly discrimination in Christians circles too often causes the truth of Scripture to be discarded and the principles that the Bible teaches to be twisted, distorted, ignored or even made irrelevant, in order to placate our own personal prejudices and unique biases.
Scripture testifies that God shows no favouritism and that like Him we should be no respecter of persons. And as His children - the Word of God should become our plumb-line for truth, the standard for living and the non-negotiable criterion that not only influences our words and actions but the motives of our heart.
May Scriptural principles become our daily practice to the glory of God
Heavenly Father, thank You for this lesson on impartiality and thank You that You are no respecter of persons. Thank You that You did not discriminate against me when I was dead in my sins and at enmity with You. Keep me I pray from any form of hypocrisy and may I increasingly consider the needs and feelings of my brothers and sisters in Christ before my own.. to Your praise and glory in Jesus name I pray, AMEN.