“But if you show partiality, you are committing sin and are convicted by the law as transgressors.”

James 2:9

In his autobiography, Mahatma Gandhi wrote that during his student days he read the Gospels seriously and considered converting to Christianity. He believed that in the teachings of Jesus he could find the solution to the caste system that was dividing the people of India.

So one Sunday he decided to attend services at a nearby church and talk to the minister about becoming a Christian. When he entered the sanctuary, however, the usher refused to give him a seat and suggested that he go worship with his own people. Gandhi left the church and never returned. “If Christians have caste differences also,” he said, “I might as well remain a Hindu.” That usher’s prejudice not only betrayed Jesus but also turned a person away from trusting Him as Savior.

The “prejudiced usher” described in today’s Bible passage welcomed a wealthy visitor but insulted a poor one. Perhaps he felt he was doing his job and only carrying out the wishes of the members in the church. But he displayed bad manners, and he was guilty of a sin as serious as murder and adultery (James 2:9-11).

When people visit your church, do you warmly welcome them regardless of their race or social status?

Partiality selects and favors one person over another. It ignores and neglects a person. It casts one into oblivion, wipes one out; treats one as though he is nothing, absent, or non-existent. So, it is comparable to murder. It is the same root, the same cause, the same selfishness, the same lust, the same sin as killing. We are not to show partiality or favoritism to anyone. We are to love all people no matter their social standing or wealth.

We should speak and show love and kindness to all people, who a person is; his social standing and wealth; clothing and appearance are to have no effect upon us whatsoever. We are to receive people, actually reach out to them through our speech and behavior, no matter who they are. God is going to judge us on the basis of how we have loved and reached out to people, regardless of who they are. If we have shown mercy, He will show mercy; if we have not shown mercy, then He will not show mercy to us.

So let’s put away partiality today in order that we may do what is that “good and perfect” will of God. Prejudice distorts what it sees, deceives when it talks, and destroys when it acts.


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Garment of Praise

Monthly Insights for Spiritual Growth, Encouragement and Personal Victory.

Oluyemisi Onanuga

Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are taken from the New King James Version of the Bible.

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