Family Bible Study lesson for April 10: Impartial Love : Thursday, March 24, 2005
March 23 2005 by Phillip Hamm

Family Bible Study lesson for April 10: Impartial Love : Thursday, March 24, 2005
Thursday, March 24, 2005

Family Bible Study lesson for April 10: Impartial Love

By Phillip Hamm
Focal Passage: James 2:1-13

Real Faith Rejects Favoritism

James 2:1-7

We've all had the experience of running to the window as a moving truck passed by our house. As we peer through the curtains we notice that the family moving in has skin a shade darker than ours and possibly speaks a different language. We think to ourselves how nice it is to live in area where people of all races and ethnic backgrounds can live in the same sub-divisions.

We remember hearing of a time when this type of fairness would not have been extended to this family and wonder in disbelief of how such times ever existed. We would never think of stopping a family from moving into our neighborhood just because they speak with an accent or have a different skin color.

But what if that family walked into your church on Sunday? What if their children sat next to your children in Sunday School? What if their baby shared a cup of "gold fish" with your baby or grandbaby in the nursery?

Some people respond to a situation like this by putting on a spiritual facade. They say things like: "I think they would be more comfortable in a church with people like themselves." What is really meant by this statement is that they would be more comfortable if the individuals would go to another church.

Favoritism is not a new problem faced by Christians. In fact James dealt with the same type of issues by telling readers of his letter, "have you not shown partiality among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts?" James 2:4 (NKJV). Favoritism has no place in a Christian's life. Looking down on someone because of their ethnic background, socio-economic level, or any other reason is always contradictory to scripture. God never puts limits upon who He will accept; therefore, neither should we. The only way to overcome favoritism is to ...

Fulfill the Law of Love

James 2:8-11

We were taught as children that we are to "love our neighbor as ourselves." James repeats these words of Jesus in verse 8. He then continues to say that when we show favoritism, or do not love people equally, we are clearly sinning. We know that loving people whom we like is easy, but why would we love people when it is hard? Why should we fulfill the law of love when it might cost us something? The greatest example of this love is a parent.

A 36 year-old mother was discovered to be in the advanced stages of terminal cancer. One doctor advised her to spend her remaining days enjoying herself on a beach in Acapulco. A second physician offered her the hope of living two to four years with the grueling side effects of chemotherapy and radiation treatment. She penned these words to her three small children: "I've chosen to try surviving for you. This has some horrible costs, including pain, loss of my good humor, and moods I won't be able to control. But I must try this, if only on the outside chance that I might live one minute longer. And that minute could be the one you might need me when no one else will do. For this I intend to struggle, tooth and nail, so help me God." (Focus on the Family, May 1985) This mother understood the pain that came with loving.

This type of love is the example that God has set for His children. He loved the world so much that nothing could keep Him from expressing His love to us, not even the pain of the cross. The Bible clearly says that God expects us to treat everyone the way He treats them, with love and fairness.

You could show favoritism to people who share the same skin color, speak the same language, or bring home the same paycheck. It's easy to favor those who are like us. However, I'm thankful that God does not wait for us to become like Him before He shows us love. He even showed us mercy when we were considered His enemy. (Rom. 5:10) Therefore, the only way to overcome favoritism and receive mercy from God is for us to ...

Show Mercy

James 2:12-13

Notice that in verse 13 that James says, "judgment is without mercy to the one who shows no mercy" (NKJV). In other words, God will use the same standard to judge us that we use to judge others. Therefore, we are to be sure to welcome all types of people to find hope in God's church.

3/23/2005 11:00:00 PM by Phillip Hamm | with 0 comments

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