Today’s Scripture: For if there come unto your assembly a man with a gold ring, in goodly apparel, and there come in also a poor man in vile raiment; And ye have respect to him that weareth the gay clothing, and say unto him, Sit thou here in a good place; and say to the poor, Stand thou there, or sit here under my footstool: Are ye not then partial in yourselves, and are become judges of evil thoughts? James 2:2–4

For every party there are favors, but sometimes there is also favoritism. A family invited the bank’s chairman of the board to lunch one Sunday. Among all the casually-dressed-but-distinguished guests, the chairman, who stood out with his grey, pinstriped suit, was invited to sit at the head of the table and say grace.

Afterward, the chairman asked for the bowl of potatoes. He spooned two big helpings into his left, front suit pocket. Then he asked for the carrots and fried chicken and filled his other pockets. The man of the house asked the chairman why he was doing this.

The chairman answered, “You invited my suit to lunch, and I am feeding it. With the way you treated the other guests, I can see that you wanted the suit more than anyone else present for your meal.”

Sometimes we show favored treatment to others without even realizing it. The way a person dresses, the car he or she drives, the color of their skin, the way they speak, the size of their bank account, their political and/or religious views, their relationship to us, their academic ability, and their occupation are all factors which influence the way we respond to them. This is because we are humans who judge according to the outward appearance.

While favoritism is part of our nature, it is very wrong, and we are all guilty of this sin. God wants us to treat everyone the same, and the only way to do this is by looking beyond the surface to a person’s heart. In other words, we must learn to see others the same way God does.

Are you polite to everyone, or only those in your inner circle? Do you try to win all your neighbors to Christ, or only those of a certain race? Do you pray for everyone who has a need, or only for those who agree with your views? Don’t invite a suit to lunch. Be impartial and show the love of Jesus to everyone in your world today.

Devotional by Dr. James A. Scudder