Favoritism

Sometimes we permanently categorize peoples by
• How they look
• What they have
• How many followers they have on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram.
We even categorize peoples age if they have more followers on Facebook than they do on Instagram.

Many times those who are popular tend to have more people in their circle of influence, while those who are less popular do not and favoritism is shown to those who have the power of personality, popularity, and influence.
This is not to say that in every instance this is wrong or unmerited.
I do believe our motivation for deciding who should be deemed worthy of our attention and who should not deserves a second look.
In the second chapter of James the writer observes behavior that is obviously troubling to him.
He describes a situation that would be troubling outside the church even more so inside of it.
A rich man with gold rings and fine clothes has been shown to the best seat in the house. The poor man in shabby clothes has been assigned a seat in the back row.
James presents a question to his audience, ” have you not discriminated among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts?”
Discrimination which is very prevalent in our world should get our attention but the statement, “judges with evil thoughts” certainly should.

In a court of law a judge with evil thoughts towards the defendant or the prosecution would be unable to make a sound judgment based on the law and the evidence before him or her.
We are held to a much higher law that states “we are to love our neighbor as ourselves.

What motivates us to judge who has value who does not?
To show favoritism based on appearence, material wealth, popularity?
I see three things that could influence how we in James view “judge” people.
We determine someone value based on “external” criteria. And doing so misunderstand who is important and blessed by God and who is not.

We assume that the rich man is more important revealing we put too much value on material riches.

We show preferential treatment revealing a self serving agenda because we believe we can get more from that person who “has it all”.

James message is clear.
In the church there is no room for this type of favoritism.
And if we are guilty of this type of behavior towards those outside the church, we miss the whole reason Jesus came.

About HCliffCraig.com

“Now at last they were beginning chapter One of the great story no one on earth has read: which goes on forever”. I love this line at the end of the Last Battle by C.S. Lewis. Everyone has a story to tell and ultimately we are all part of a greater story that someday will be revealed in full. “ For now, we can only see a dim and blurry picture of things”. ( 1 Corinthians 13:12). My story is not remarkable, although the events I have had the privilege in my life to witness have been. I grew up in the south “the land of cotton” and the old times there were definitely not forgotten. I remember where I was and what I was doing when JFK and Martin Luther King were murdered in Dallas and in Memphis. I remember the Civil Rights movement, a time of great unrest and change. I remember the dawning of the “Age of Aquarius” in the late 1960’s. It was also the dawning of my love for playing music, a love that has stayed with me throughout my life. If my life were chapters in a book one would tell of my precious bride of 20+ years who endured so much and stood beside me through the good and the bad. One would describe the blessings of being a father and a grandfather. One would tell about how despite being “the wretch” the song sings about God was able to change me, and use me to make a difference in others lives, make me a servant in His church, and surround me with friends all because of His goodness. All part of a story that has had many twists and turns. I think of the words Jimmy Buffet wrote in one of my favorite songs "As a dreamer of dreams and a travelin’ man I have chalked up many a mile Read dozens of books about heroes and crooks And I learned much from both of their styles" And so it is true for me. But in all of my travels and all I have read and experienced nothing compares to where I am headed. The place where my story here ends and the story that goes on forever begins! "" I am confident that He who began a good work in you will carry it on until completion until the day He returns". Philippians 1:6 My hope is that as we all run our race that in some small way my words will encourage and speak to you, as your story is being written. And draw you ever closer to the One who loves you. Further up and further in!
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