Freedom. It seems everyone wants to be free yet we often struggle to even admit when we are not. When Jesus stated that holding to His teachings would lead people to know the truth that would set them free, the religious leaders bristled at even the hint that they had ever been slaves to anyone or anything. Over the next 6 days I will be sharing the daily devotions from the book, “Living Free”, that I wrote several years ago to help you discover a life of freedom found through a consistent gazing into, and practice of, the perfect law of God’s Word.
Here is day twenty-seven with an important reminder that living free in Christ means that you, and those around you, have been set free to be impartial.
Free To Be Impartial
“If you really keep the royal law found in Scripture, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself,’ you are doing right. But if you show favoritism, you sin and are convicted by the law as lawbreakers. For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it. For he who said, ‘Do not commit adultery,’ also said, ‘Do not murder.’ If you do not commit adultery but do commit murder, you have become a lawbreaker. Speak and act as those who are going to be judged by the law that gives freedom, because judgment without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful. Mercy triumphs over judgment!”
James 2:8-13 (NIV)
Have you ever been a “teacher’s pet” in any of your schooling? If not, did teachers you have had ever have individuals that everyone else felt were the “teacher’s pet”? How did that make you feel? How difficult is it to avoid favoritism? Why? Do you speak the same way to everyone? Should you? Why? How does the uniqueness of each person influence what impartiality looks like in our interaction with them? How does gazing into God’s Word help equip you to treat everyone with respect without showing partiality?
While most people would say they are opposed to favoritism when it is shown to someone else, we’re not so quick to condemn it when we are being treated better than another. When the Bible speaks of favoritism, it is talking about treating people differently based on a variety of outward appearances, rather than treating them honestly based on the character of their heart. God’s freedom helps us to see each other as equals at the foot of the cross, and because of Jesus, equals at the gates of heaven. As you pray, ask God to help you live without partiality towards those who walk this journey of life with you.