Nobody ever wants to admit they are so shallow that they treat people differently because of how they look, but people do it all of the time.
James tells us that Christians should be different. We are to treat all people fairly and without any sign of favoritism.
According to Leviticus 19:15, that also is the heart of God. He says, “Do not show partiality to the poor or favoritism to the great.” Be sure and notice this is a two-way street. It is kind of surprising that it goes both ways. We aren’t supposed to show favoritism or partiality to either the poor or the great. This passage goes on to tell us to “treat people fairly.”
God created every tribe, every race and every nation. He obviously loves variety. He loves all people everywhere. Deuteronomy 10:17 tells us that God shows no partiality.
That’s who God is. And we are called to be like Him. Don’t you think racism, discrimination and hatred must break the heart of God who calls His people to love one another?
There certainly are times when we make conscious decisions about how we value other people based solely on external factors. There also are times that we subconsciously pass judgment and make decisions about accepting or rejecting people without even giving it so much as a thought. It is like we operate on autopilot.
Maybe this happens because of how we were raised. We make these broad generalizations as we categorize and classify people that we don’t even know. You might say we prejudge them.
Whenever I prejudge a person, without even knowing them, I am prejudiced.
Whenever you categorize or classify people based on everything from their height to their weight to the color of their skin, that is prejudice. The list of possibilities as to why we do this could go on and on. But God calls on every committed Christ follower to treat people fairly.
James goes on, “If you really keep the royal law found in Scripture, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself,’ you are doing right.” It doesn’t get any plainer than that. If you “Love your neighbor as yourself,” you are doing right.
Jesus told us to love each other in the same way that He loved us. This is the basis for all of the laws of how people should relate to one another. We must treat all people as we would want to be treated … without favoritism or prejudice.
You may read Steve Greene’s blog at pastorgreene.wordpress.com or you can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.