My brethren, do not hold the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, with partiality. —James 2:1
A 2010 survey by Newsweek contained some startling statistics: 57 percent of hiring managers believe an unattractive (but qualified) job candidate would have a harder time getting hired; 84 percent of managers said their bosses would hesitate before hiring a qualified older candidate; 64 percent of hiring managers said they believe companies should be allowed to hire people based on appearance. All are clear examples of unacceptable prejudice.
Prejudice is not new. It had crept into the early church, and James confronted it head-on. With prophetic grit and a pastor’s heart, he wrote: “My brethren, do not hold the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, with partiality” (James 2:1). James gave an example of this type of prejudice—favoring the rich and ignoring the poor (vv.2-4). This was inconsistent with holding faith in Jesus without partiality (v.1), betrayed the grace of God (vv.5-7), violated the law of love (v.8), and was sinful (v.9). The answer to partiality is following the example of Jesus: loving your neighbor as yourself.
We fight the sin of prejudice when we let God’s love for us find full expression in the way we love and treat each other. —Marvin Williams
Thinking It Over
Who helped you determine what is the right way to
treat people? Was it based on external things?
What are some ways you can love people as Jesus did?
Looking up to Jesus prevents us from looking down on others.
Bible in a year: Numbers 31-33; Mark 9:1-29
In James 2:8, we see a guiding principle of Scripture—our responsibility and privilege to love our neighbors as ourselves. This theme was established in the ancient law of Israel (Lev. 19:18) and was the life principle illustrated by Jesus in the parable of the good Samaritan (Luke 10:27). In addition to James’s words here, it is affirmed by Paul in Galatians 5:14.