By: Undre Griggs, Jr.
When understanding God, it is valuable to understand why He believes it is important to treat everyone equally. There are many dangers and assumptions we have to make when we show partiality or favoritism.
James 3:17 (ESV): But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere.
When looking at the wisdom of God, we can see the interconnectivity of each attribute in this verse. It is unlikely someone can be open to reason if they show partiality to someone or some group. Reason being, their bias will play a significant role in how they process the available information. If we prefer someone, we will excuse actions as them, “having a bad day” or something being “taken out of context”. If we dislike someone, we will say, “yeah but” to every rational point or action they take. Perhaps we will find it difficult to show mercy and be gentle when discussing something with someone we have a prejudice against. Even if we find ourselves able to say the right thing to their face; we may lack sincerity in our hearts.
James 2:1-4 (NIV): My brothers and sisters, believers in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ must not show favoritism. Suppose a man comes into your meeting wearing a gold ring and fine clothes, and a poor man in filthy old clothes also comes in. If you show special attention to the man wearing fine clothes and say, “Here’s a good seat for you,” but say to the poor man, “You stand there” or “Sit on the floor by my feet,” have you not discriminated among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts?
The danger of us showing partiality for any reason is the judgment we are making on them. For example, if we assume one person is always right; then we are naturally assuming the other person is wrong. If we always value something someone does or says higher than others; then it is reasonable to conclude we are devaluing whatever the other person is saying. We can begin to see why God would find an issue with partiality, because showing partiality is to value one person’s life greater than another’s.
Acts 10:34-35 (ESV): So Peter opened his mouth and said: “Truly I understand that God shows no partiality, but in every nation anyone who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him.
God looks at all life as equally valuable and judges each of us the same way. If we abide in His doctrine, He is pleased with us; if we ignore His will, He is saddened by us. God does not care whether we were saved yesterday or thirty years ago; when we ignore His will the judgment is the same. By treating people differently, we defame the righteous and pureness of God and replace it with our personal impure judgment.