People have different ways of perceiving others. Some judge others by what they have or do not have. Many people will treat a person who is “well-bred” with greater respect. Others draw closer to a person who has an abundance of wealth that they themselves do not have. This is the norm. People do it subconsciously. People choose to treat others around them differently.
In every church, there are diverse believers. Some are rich and others are poor; others, of course, fall somewhere in the middle. Yet as believers in the Lord, James reminds us, we cannot practice partiality. Discrimination is just not right in many people’s eyes. As believers, we also must recognize that it is contrary to our beliefs.
After all, the Lord Jesus is the Lord of glory. He alone has the sovereignty to exalt the lowly, or humble the proud. The God we worship is righteous and with Him there is no partiality (Eph 6:9). He did not choose us based on what we have or do not have (Jas 2:5). He behaved exactly as He did when He called the Israelites out of Egypt. To them He gave this reminder: He did not choose them because they were greater in number or more righteous than anyone (Deut 7:7; 9:4-6), but because of His love for them.
God’s impartial love is our perfect example. Since we believe God did not do so to us, we have no right to treat others with partiality. As believers, we accept the rule and eventual judgment based on God’s law. His “royal law,” James says, is to “love your neighbor as yourself” (Jas 2:8). As God has loved us, so we must love others. Let this be the conscious, guiding principle of our behavior.