12/12/22 The Sin of Partiality

READING: James 1:1-3:18

It’s easy to do, even when you know better. Show favoritism, that is. 

As a pastor, I never wanted to know what folks gave to the church—but not because I didn’t think a pastor should never have access to that information. I simply didn’t want to be tempted with treating people differently based on their offerings. I knew that temptation was real because I sometimes caught myself thinking that way solely on the basis of who I thought were probably bigger givers. 

James saw that same problem among the believers of his day, too. It was just too easy for them to give the best honor to the rich and less attention to the poor. In so doing, they were showing partiality God does not show or approve. What they failed to realize that even the rich wither away and will “pass away like a flower of the field” (Jms 1:10). Temporary wealth is no guarantee of longer life, and it does not earn God’s favor.  

The church is to be different than the world, emphasizing the value of all human beings created in the image of God regardless of their economic status. I need to remember that.

PERSONAL REFLECTION: Are you ever tempted to treat rich people differently than the poor? Do you? 

DAILY PRAYER: “Father, show me any tendencies in my heart toward partiality.” 

TOMORROW’S READING: James 4:1-5:20, 1 Timothy 1:1-2:15

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