Life’s biggest problems are people problems. In past messages we’ve talked about marital relationships, friendships, and family relationships. This week’s message is about church relationships, specifically favouritism.
Message by Todd Lester – June 12, 2016
People evaluate one another based on superficial judgments. Common areas:
- Appearance or “lookism”
James 2:1 My dear brothers and sisters, how can you claim to have faith in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ if you favour some people over others?
James 2:2-4 For example, suppose someone comes into your meeting dressed in fancy clothes and expensive jewelry, and another comes in who is poor and dressed in dirty clothes. If you give special attention and a good seat to the rich person, but you say to the poor one, “You can stand over there, or else sit on the floor”—well, doesn’t this discrimination show that your judgments are guided by evil motives?
1. FAVOURITISM IS UNCHRISTIAN
Romans 2:11 For God does not show favouritism.
Acts 10:34 Then Peter replied, “I see very clearly that God shows no favouritism.”
Ephesians 6:9 Masters, treat your slaves in the same way. Don’t threaten them; remember, you both have the same Master in heaven, and he has no favourites.
Colossians 3:25 But if you do what is wrong, you will be paid back for the wrong you have done. For God has no favourites.
1 Samuel 16:7 People judge by outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.
2. FAVOURITISM IS UNREASONABLE
James 2:5-7 Listen to me, dear brothers and sisters. Hasn’t God chosen the poor in this world to be rich in faith? Aren’t they the ones who will inherit the Kingdom he promised to those who love him? But you dishonour the poor! Isn’t it the rich who oppress you and drag you into court? Aren’t they the ones who slander Jesus Christ, whose noble name you bear?
3. FAVOURITISM IS UNLOVING
James 2:8-9 Yes indeed, it is good when you obey the royal law as found in the Scriptures: “Love your neighbour as yourself.” But if you favour some people over others, you are committing a sin. You are guilty of breaking the law.
Galatians 5:14 For the whole law can be summed up in this one command: “Love your neighbour as yourself.”
James 2:10 For the person who keeps all of the laws except one is as guilty as a person who has broken all of God’s laws.
James 2:11 For the same God who said, “You must not commit adultery,” also said, “You must not murder.” So if you murder someone but do not commit adultery, you have still broken the law.
1 John 4:20 If someone says, “I love God,” but hates a fellow believer, that person is a liar; for if we don’t love people we can see, how can we love God, whom we cannot see?
HOW TO TREAT PEOPLE RIGHT
1. ACCEPT EVERYBODY
You can accept without approving.
Romans 15:7 Therefore, accept each other just as Christ has accepted you so that God will be given glory.
Romans 13:8 Owe nothing to anyone—except for your obligation to love one another. If you love your neighbour, you will fulfill the requirements of God’s law.
2. APPRECIATE EVERYBODY
Philippians 2:3-5 Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too. You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had.
3. AFFIRM EVERYBODY
1 Thessalonians 5:11 So encourage each other and build each other up, just as you are already doing.
John 13:35 “Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.”