“My dear brothers and sisters, how can you claim to have faith in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ if you favor some people over others? For 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. If 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, doesn’t this discrimination show that your judgments are guided by evil motives?” James‬ ‭2:1-4‬ ‭(NLT)‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬ Ever pick up a book based on its cover looking good, only to have it be a horrible book? How about when you put all your effort into a project and someone else gets more recognition because they were more popular then you? How did that make you feel? How about when your on the bus and they pick up "that kid" and there are only two seats left between you and someone else. Did you offer a seat or did you spread all your school stuff out so there was no room for them to sit? We have all given or received favoritism. Favoritism is defined in the Webster Dictionary as this: The practice of giving unfair preferential treatment to one person or group at the expense of others. I think the key part there is “at the expense of others." Think about this: Jesus says, “Blessed are the meek and the poor, for they will inherit the kingdom of Heaven.” A poor person reads this for the first time and is ecstatic. He or she goes to church to see this Kingdom that is spoken of, and gets treated worse then they did out on the streets because he or she is poor and needy. They see Christians as hypocrites and turn away from God. When we show favoritism, whether we admit it nor not, we have just made ourselves a judge. When did God ever say it was okay for us to be a judge? When we do this, we have already made our mind up, and put up our defenses based upon how one looks. We have judged the book by its cover. Being rejected by others is always a painful experience! All of us want to be accepted. James reminds us that Jesus intended the Christian community to graciously accept and love people regardless of their wealth, situation, influence, religion, or nationality. We as Christians, need to welcome all who are seeking God. The truth is captured by Jesus when he calls for us to treat others just as we want them to treat us (Matthew 7:12). My prayer today is that each one of us sets aside judgement, and we open our hearts to show others the love of Christ. The person you show love to just might be that someone hearing about the wonderful Kingdom of God for the first time.

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