"Playing Favorites"Stuart JonesHow do we treat those with plenty and those with little? Do we treat them equally, look away from the wealth and look beyond poverty? Or do we assign value and importance based on the possession of worldly bounty? We all want to say, “Oh no, I treat everyone the same!” James anticipated our response. He predicted our thoughts and the challenges we face when he wrote: “My brothers and sisters, believers in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ must not show favoritism. Suppose a man comes into your meeting wearing a gold ring and fine clothes, and a poor man in filthy old clothes also comes in. If you show special attention to the man wearing fine clothes and say, “Here’s a good seat for you,” but say to the poor man, “You stand there” or “Sit on the floor by my feet,” have you not discriminated among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts?” (James 2:1-4) NIV James is pointing out in very clear terms we are judging people before even knowing them. We make assumptions about people. Our stereotypes and prejudgments affect our behavior towards people. This prejudice leads to discrimination. That’s why it is important to show mercy. For it isn’t our right to judge in the first place. God has shown us mercy by giving us forgiveness through Christ. If God Himself shows no partiality, how do we have the right to be partial and judgmental towards others?