Don’t Play Favorites

Read James 2:1-13 

Let's jump right into a thought-provoking topic that hits close to home: favorites. You know, those things we pick as security questions when setting up passwords. We all have our go-to favorites, whether it's a color, a movie, or even a song. But when the concept of favorites takes a detour from preferences and drifts into the territory of favoritism, things get a bit more complicated. In fact, favoritism can have some serious consequences, and that's exactly what James is addressing in James 2:1-13.

Imagine you're at an event, and two people arrive. One is dressed to the nines, wearing flashy jewelry, while the other is in shabby attire, looking downcast. If you roll out the red carpet for the well-dressed person, giving them the best seat, while barely acknowledging the other, you're playing favorites. James isn't mincing words—he's highlighting that this behavior is problematic. He argues that by showing favoritism, we're making unfair judgments based on appearances, and he questions whether we're becoming judges with twisted motives. This isn't what true faith embodies.

James then flips the narrative. He points out that God has chosen the poor to be rich in faith and heirs of His kingdom. Favoring the rich and disregarding the poor contradicts God's values. Digging deeper, James talks about the "Royal Law" and the "Law of Freedom," emphasizing treating others as we want to be treated. Favoritism breaks this law, creating inconsistencies like trying to have a piece of cake while sticking to a diet—it just doesn’t work.

At the end of the day, James reminds us that mercy trumps judgment. So instead of picking favorites based on appearances or status, let's show mercy to all. Let's honor every person, recognizing that we're all equal recipients of God's grace. Whether dressed in gold rings or tattered clothes, we're all part of the same community of faith. And that's a favorite worth embracing.
1. Share a time when judging someone solely based on their appearance influenced your ability to genuinely understand and connect with them.

2. How have personal experiences of being favored or disfavored by others affected your sense of self-worth and belonging?

3. How can you consistently treat others the way that you want to be treated?

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