But if you favor some people over others, you are committing a sin. You are guilty of breaking the law. James 2:9 (NLT)
When I read the previous verse for context, what really hit me was that age-old concept to love your neighbor as yourself. So if you show favoritism, you are really not doing that… you are raising some up, and having a prejudice towards others. What a way to contradict any view that prejudice is permissible.
When I went back to the beginning of the chapter, for some more context, verse 2 says: 2For example, suppose someone comes into your meeting dressed in fancy clothes and expensive jewelry, and another comes in who is poor and dressed in dirty clothes. 3If you give special attention and a good seat to the rich person, but you say to the poor one, “You can stand over there, or else sit on the floor”—well, 4doesn’t this discrimination show that your judgments are guided by evil motives?
Evil motives .. giving special attention to a person because of their money.
Money, not being a tool in someone’s hands … but actually a measurement of someone’s worth.
This really hits home in a slightly different area for me, as I just read this article by a law firm, about how often non-profits in America can be ‘incentivized’ by money. If you didn’t know, I have a heart for helping non-profits and this motivation for money is something that I really despise. I’ve been involved in fundraising for a large non-profit, as an employee for a for-profit organization. I didn’t know how-it-all-worked in the beginning, but when I found out .. I had to quit. My conscience could not stand seeing such a small percentage of funds actually reaching the people intended, and how money was … in my opinion, misused.
Then, I read a little further back. And this really impacted me:
5Listen to me, dear brothers and sisters. Hasn’t God chosen the poor in this world to be rich in faith? Aren’t they the ones who will inherit the Kingdom he promised to those who love him? 6But you dishonor the poor! Isn’t it the rich who oppress you and drag you into court? 7Aren’t they the ones who slander Jesus Christ, whose noble name you bear?
These verses reminded me of a conversation I had with a friend just over a week ago, concerning how those who often give, are those who don’t have so much. Interesting how – possibly jaded – James is against people who are rich, that they are more likely to oppress you. Very interesting.
If money is just a tool, maybe we shouldn’t be seeking the hands that have it, but more the heart of the Father (God) in terms of His plans. The concept then that He will provide, and that as we seek His heart and His plans, the funds that are necessary will show themselves to fulfill the plans He has.
Once again, the part about prejudice … let us not discriminate between people for their wealth, or otherwise. Rather, let us love our neighbor as ourself.
For more on love .. yesterday’s post was about how love is being obedient to God: Love : Walk In It!
Do you have an area in your life that you could love better, and maybe even be less discriminatory? Please tell me in the comments below. 🙂