Sermons

Summary: A study in the book of James 2: 1 – 26

James 2: 1 – 26

Beware of Favoritism

1 My brethren, do not hold the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, with partiality. 2 For if there should come into your assembly a man with gold rings, in fine apparel, and there should also come in a poor man in filthy clothes, 3 and you pay attention to the one wearing the fine clothes and say to him, “You sit here in a good place,” and say to the poor man, “You stand there,” or, “Sit here at my footstool,” 4 have you not shown partiality among yourselves, and become judges with evil thoughts? 5 Listen, my beloved brethren: Has God not chosen the poor of this world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom which He promised to those who love Him? 6 But you have dishonored the poor man. Do not the rich oppress you and drag you into the courts? 7 Do they not blaspheme that noble name by which you are called? 8 If you really fulfill the royal law according to the Scripture, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself,” you do well; 9 but if you show partiality, you commit sin, and are convicted by the law as transgressors. 10 For whoever shall keep the whole law, and yet stumble in one point, he is guilty of all. 11 For He who said, “Do not commit adultery,” also said, “Do not murder.” Now if you do not commit adultery, but you do murder, you have become a transgressor of the law. 12 So speak and so do as those who will be judged by the law of liberty. 13 For judgment is without mercy to the one who has shown no mercy. Mercy triumphs over judgment. 14 What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him? 15 If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, 16 and one of you says to them, “Depart in peace, be warmed and filled,” but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit? 17 Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead. 18 But someone will say, “You have faith, and I have works.” Show me your faith without your[fn] works, and I will show you my faith by my works. 19 You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe—and tremble! 20 But do you want to know, O foolish man, that faith without works is dead? 21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered Isaac his son on the altar? 22 Do you see that faith was working together with his works, and by works faith was made perfect? 23 And the Scripture was fulfilled which says, “Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.” And he was called the friend of God. 24 You see then that a man is justified by works, and not by faith only. 25 Likewise, was not Rahab the harlot also justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out another way? 26 For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.

A major life issue is our tendency to have favorites. It could be relative to our families. In the bible days men wound up having more than one wife. Guess wat the problem is with this choice. The guy winds up having a ‘favorite’ wife. Today if we have a few children we tend to also have a favorite child. In the book of Genesis chapter 25 Isaac and Rebecca had twin boys. Now you would think with twins they are both the same so your chances of not picking a favorite child is realistic. However, when you read about this family’s life you find out that the dad Isaac favored Esau who was the outdoorsman and the mom Rebecca favored the other son Jacob. Things did not turn out so well with this dynamic.

Playing favorites is one of the most damaging problems in any group of people. Leaders who practice favoritism in the workplace or even in sports have no chance to build a culture of trust. Colleges teach that the antidote for playing favorites is to treat everyone the same way. But this way of thinking is a trap that can cause problems because it ignores the simple fact that all people are different.

John Wooden, the great basketball coach from UCLA was asked how he dealt with the issue of treating some players differently from the others. John made the following remarkable statement, "treating everyone the same is the surest way to show favoritism."

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