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Crushing Favoritism – 30 Day Challenge

Weekly Devotionals

Crushing Favoritism – 30 Day Challenge

James 2:1-13

My brothers, show no partiality as you hold the faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory. 2 For if a man wearing a gold ring and fine clothing comes into your assembly, and a poor man in shabby clothing also comes in, 3 and if you pay attention to the one who wears the fine clothing and say, “You sit here in a good place,” while you say to the poor man, “You stand over there,” or, “Sit down at my feet,” 4 have you not then made distinctions among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts? 5 Listen, my beloved brothers, has not God chosen those who are poor in the world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom, which he has promised to those who love him? 6 But you have dishonored the poor man. Are not the rich the ones who oppress you, and the ones who drag you into court? 7 Are they not the ones who blaspheme the honorable name by which you were called?8 If you really fulfill the royal law according to the Scripture, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself,” you are doing well. 9 But if you show partiality, you are committing sin and are convicted by the law as transgressors..

Do we consider favoritism to be a sin? How often is it overlooked and just written off as a minor sin? If we look closely to the issue James is addressing to the first century church, we see that this “small” sin is threatening to tear apart the church. He makes it absolutely clear that partiality and favoritism is a big deal!

The correlation James makes between favoritism and judging others is interesting. In verse 4, James points out that as we make these distinctions and show partiality we are bringing down evil thoughts and judgments on one another.

Jesus warns against judgment in Matthew 7:1-2.

Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you.

What does favoritism resemble in the modern day church? Who we sit with? Eat lunch with? With whom we allot our greetings over coffee in ecclesia? More often than not, we overlook the quiet newcomers, the hurting ones, the lonely, and the ones making a comeback to the faith and make judgments as to who is worthy of our time and affection. We may not draw distinctions between the ones adorned in gold/fine cloth and the shabbily cloaked but is it not the same?

What is the gospel? That God would take those who are poor, wretched, and unlovable yet adopts us as his sons and daughters because of Jesus. I am reminded of the love I have received and am convicted to spur one another on to love and good works. I will be the first to admit that I am guilty of this favoritism and have become too comfortable with hanging out with the same group of people at church.

I will be challenging myself for the next month to break free from that comfort zone, habit, and sin. Brothers and sisters, I encourage you all to participate in this thirty-day challenge with me! I heard that it only takes thirty days to break bad habits and introduce better ones. Whether it be offering a warm welcome, eating lunch with someone new, giving up your seat on the subway, smiling at a stranger, feeding the hungry, or exercising more patience in the work place. Lets try to extend a little bit more love and true Christian fellowship. I see glimpses of what the church could be if we could stop being so selfish and love his people a little more. It truly is a beautiful thing.