James (W4D1) No Favorites
Week 4. Monday: No Favorites
PRAY: Ask God to speak to you from His Word.
READ: James 2:1
My brothers and sisters, believers in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ must not show favoritism.
UNDERSTAND: get a deeper understanding of the key words
My brothers and sisters. This is a family matter. James is including himself and communicating that what he is about to discuss comes out of love and concern for the people in his spiritual family.
Believers. It is important to note that James speaks to the followers of Christ. Favoritism was part of the culture but the church, the believers, were called to be different.
Must not show. There is no wiggle room here. James gets straight to the point. Must not. This word carries the idea of continuation. In other words, do not make a practice or a habit of favoritism.
Favoritism. Literally means “to lift up one’s face.” Although the original word was neutral it began to be used negatively to mean judging someone based on their outward appearance. Favoritism is condemned throughout the bible (See: Ephesians 6:9; Colossians 3:25; 1 Tim 5:21; Leviticus 19:15; Exodus 23:3; Proverbs 28:21). Ultimately favoritism is wrong because it is not a characteristic of God (See Romans 2:11; Acts 10:34).
God judges based on what is in the heart; we judge based on what we see. Favoritism is respecting the outward actions and behavior over the inward value and worth of a person.
APPLY: What is this passage calling me to do?
Is it possible to show favoritism and not realize it?
What are some ways we treat people differently because of their appearance or behavior? How can this be dangerous?
How does God view of people differ from how you view people?
PRAY: Ask God to reveal to you some areas where you may be showing favoritism. Ask him to help you begin to break