The Test of Partiality – The Inconsistency of Partiality
Read: James 2:5-7
Every football coach knows how inconsistency hinders performance. Every football coach loves seeing his players become more and more consistent in their execution. We have all seen the player who is great in the weight room, but gets blown off the ball. This is inconsistent with their ability. It does not make sense. The same can be true of those of us who know Christ. God has given us a new nature and His Holy Spirit to live in us, but it does not always show up in the way we treat others. This is inconsistent with who we are in Christ.
We have been examining James 2:1-13, where James gives 5 Reasons to Reject the Sin of Partiality, so that God’s grace may be evident in our lives. In verses 1-4 we have covered – “The Imperative Against Partiality” and “The Illustration of Partiality.” Today we will examine the third Reason to Reject the Sin of Partiality – “The Inconsistency of Partiality” (vv. 5-7).
Let’s examine The Inconsistency of Partiality by first looking at James 2 verse 5: “Listen, my beloved brothers, has not God chosen those who are poor in the world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom, which he has promised to those who love him?” The question presumes an affirmative answer. God’s plan of redemption and promise of being rich in faith and heirs of His kingdom includes people who are poor in this world. And the requirement to be an heir in His kingdom is not earthly riches, but love for God (faith in Christ). God has set these earthly poor in a place of honor.
Now look at what James says at the beginning of verse 6: “But you have dishonored the poor man.” We immediately notice the contrast between God and some of the people to whom James was writing. People in the Church are dishonoring those who God has honored. James basically says, “If God honors the poor, who do you think you are to dishonor them.” This is Inconsistent with the character of God and therefore with someone who has been made new in Christ.
Now look at the rest of verse 6 and verse 7: “Are not the rich the ones who oppress you, and the ones who drag you into court? Are they not the ones who blaspheme the honorable name by which you were called?” Once again, these questions presume an affirmative answer. The rich, the very ones some of the believers were showing favor to, were using the courts to exploit and oppress the poor. They were also speaking against the Lord Jesus Christ. Yet, they were still being shown favor based on their earthly wealth. This once again shows The Inconsistency of Partiality.
Here in verses 5-7 James exposes The Inconsistency of Partiality by showing how partiality to the rich over the poor is Inconsistent with the Character of God, Inconsistent with plain reason and Inconsistent in a Person’s life who Professes to Love God.
Coach, are you Inconsistent in showing Partiality? Do you show favor to players based on the way they look or their potential to help you get wins? We have all done this at one time or the other. The Lord has given you a new nature and the Holy Spirit to overcome this temptation and instead treat all your players with honor. Coach, make it a point to purposely show honor to all your players – not on the basis of their ability, but based on the fact they are created in the image of God. Your consistency in doing this will bring glory to God and make a lasting impact on your players and their families.