I’ll take Jimmy. Give me Bobby says the other boy. One by one the spots on each team were chosen. The talent of each student in the line was being carefully assessed by each of the team captains. And with each player plucked from off the gymnasium wall, the dregs of poorer players was getting reached. The tall, the strong, the stylish, the popular, and the
so called “GOOD” players were picked first. Inevitably there would have to be one player that would be picked last. The real horror came when there were not even players to be chosen and the last boy on the wall, the uncoordinated one, the overlooked and weak one, the least of these, would become the odd man out. We are taught at a very young age to put our money on the strong and the powerful. We are told you better be part of the haves, because if you don’t get with them, you’ll be a have not. They have money. They have education. They have status. They have what everyone around them want. These people are fun. They’re the life of the party. When they talk others want to listen. We all love to hang around them. They are a little taller, stronger, prettier, and generally happier and healthier than the rest of us. And there’s the rub. Did you hear it? Did you catch what we as people are so prone to do? Did you hear what gets revealed out of the hearts of sinful people when we speak of others and what they have or have not. It’s a heart that compares and forgets the goodness and mercy of God. We all have a place we feel we fit in this hierarchy of having and not having. A hierarchy is like a ladder. It’s a ladder with many rungs and we put ourselves somewhere on that ladder. We see some people above us and some below us.
This is what James calls partiality, and it is described only one way. James calls it plainly and simply a SIN. Proverbs 24:23 and Proverbs 28:21 also show partiality is not good.
The practice of Partiality VS. 2-3 can be seen here in James’ example of the rich man and the poor man who came into the church. The rich man is clothed in fine clothes, we see their means and we want to use those means for our own end. We see their status and we welcome it, just as those in James’ parable here do. You see they offer him a good seat. We might notice that the people here are paying special attention to this man. Their attention is completely drawn to the man’s outer display. His face only, not his heart. In reality the rich man has a heart every bit as poor and in need of the gospel as the poor man, But the PRACTICE OF PARTIALITY keeps those (who are fawning over him) from even seeing that. They are too preoccupied with his outward appearance to look on his heart. The poor man is received quite differently. The poor man is described as having on poor clothes who would obviously be incapable of offering anything to the community in the way of status, charm, intellect, and least of all money. Upon his entrance to the worship service he is told to “stand over there”.
Philippians 2:3 Paul tells us to do nothing out of selfish ambition but rather to do what? …”consider others better than ourselves” This is the only true partiality permitted by the Bible for the believer in Christ. Consider others better than yourself. They are not lower than you. Rather you are always to be the one in the humble circumstance.
You’re not too strong that God could not use the weakest of the brothers to take you down from your proud place. We are to judge as Christ judged. Therefore one practice of partiality is to make others lower than ourselves.
Second, we keep them far off and in the back ie. “over there”. Sometimes they make us feel uncomfortable because they talk strangely or they don’t seem so socially with it. I think if you were honest with yourself, you may see how easy it is to practice partiality.
Verse four. Have you not discriminated among yourselves, and become judges with evil thoughts? You see we have a problem when it comes to our practice of partiality. Our partiality exposes the sin in our hearts. It shows us that we have really not understood grace. We are not walking in the glory of Christ. The problem of Partiality is that we cannot hold, display, or walk in the glory of Christ and practice partiality at the same time. Remember verse 1 – Partiality is a sin and God is impartial
2 Chron 19:7 (in his character)
“There is no iniquity with the Lord our God, nor respect of persons.”
“For the Lord your God is a God of Gods and a Lord of Lords, a great God, a mighty and an awesome God, who regards not persons.”
Mal 2:9 (in his ways)
I also made you contemptible and base before all the people because you have not kept My ways but have been partial.”
Lev 19:15 (in his law) and (social justice)
You shall do no unrighteousness in judgment, you shall not respect the person of the poor nor honor the person of the mighty but in righteousness shalt thou judge thy neighbor.”
Also Rom 2 & 1 Tim 5
GOD is no respecter of persons no matter how old they are. We will all die and be judged according to our lives. We must all find ourselves in Christ. James tells us that we cannot hold favoritism or be partial to any man and still be faithful in displaying Christ and his glory. That is why this is a sin. SIN is any deviation from the character of God. As you have seen from the Bible here today, GOD is impartial. His impartiality is as much a part of who he is as his love, his mercy, his goodness.
1 Cor 1:26-29 Do you see what you risk when you show favouritism, you risk your very life in Christ.
If we are to be that kind of follower we must put away our partiality and love as he loved. We must find our impartiality in the example and promise of CHRIST.
The promise of God’s Impartiality verse. 5
‘Listen brothers, has not God chosen the poor in the eyes of the world, to be rich in faith, and to inherit the kingdom he promised to those who love him?
Aren’t we thankful today that God is no respecter of persons. Aren’t we glad that he looks on the heart and not on our money, our fashion sense, or our intellect. The Practice of Partiality is a sin. The problem of partiality is that we are guilty of it. The Promise is that God is impartial and judges not on external qualities, but rather on who we are in Jesus Christ. Let us love one another the way Christ loved us.