Favoritism is such a common sin that we don’t even notice it any more. Try as best as they can, all parents show some level of favoritism; it is part of work, school, friends, life. So how are we to avoid it in church?
James does not give us the answer to that question, but he does give us an example – we should not be showing favoritism to the rich and powerful. This is a common tendency, and it continues to this day. The rich can help support a church, give it influence, and more. And yet, James tells his readers, it is rich and powerful people who are exploiting and persecuting the Christians of his day. This does not mean we dislike rich people – that would be a form of favoritism, too. It means we work as hard as we can to see people AS GOD SEES THEM – not based on power and money, but trying to see their heart, their soul. If we can do that, the issues of race, age, gender, economics – fade away (without destroying our differences) – and we can be evaluated on our hearts. That is God’s vision for the church, and it starts with my choice to change my eyes.