Listen to today’s devo!

My brothers and sisters, believers in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ must not show favoritism. (James 2:1)

Expanded Passage: James 2:1-4

I have favorites. Do you? I prefer Reese’s Cups over Skittles, football over basketball, Macs over PCs, rock over country, and dogs way more than cats. What’s fantastic is that you have the freedom to choose the exact opposite of my favorites. Any cat lovers out there?

As we experiment with life, we acquire tastes that suit us more than others. This is fine when it comes to possessions or cuisines but is destructive when applied to people.

James launched chapter 2 of his letter with the imperative that we must treat people like Jesus did, without partiality. James boldly asserted that a hallmark feature of Christ followers is to accept all people equally. Jesus did not tolerate discrimination in his followers when it came to occupation, wealth, race, gender, or even sin. He accepted all because he looked beyond their outward features and peered into their hearts. He saw through characteristics to the raw humanity of the person.

The word favoritism implies preferential treatment. It is the subtle tendency to ferret out people from our social circles based on our preconceived notions of value. Favoritism critiques others with an unfair evaluation and conveys a feeling of dislike for a person or group because they are different from us. This verse contains a bedrock principle in Christian discipleship—that we love others like Jesus, with unqualified acceptance.

To win favor with God, favor no person over another.

Jim Miller is a chaplain in the Army National Guard. He and his wife, Renee, live in Washington, DC, and enjoy spending time traveling with their two children.

© 2024 Wesleyan Publishing House. Reprinted from Light from the Word. Used by permission. Scriptures taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®.