My dear brothers and sisters,how can you claim to have faith in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ if you favor some people over others? (James 2:1 NLT)
This is a test. Is your faith real? The question asked in this verse is rhetorical. But the answer is, “Well…you can’t.” You cannot claim to be a follower/imitator of Christ and show favoritism. Much more so you cannot properly represent Christ and discriminate against anyone.
God looks past the outer appearances and impressions we work so hard to protect. In the scenario presented in James chapter 2, A rich, well-dressed man, and a poor man in his work clothes both arrive at church. The rich man is ushered to a prime seat, while the poor, working-man is humiliated and asked to sit on the floor. The church wanted what the rich man had to offer them, while the poor man had nothing to offer.
James is ticked at the thought of this. You see God doesn’t care about any of the things that are important in this life. Your wealth, your college education, your social status, your nice car, fancy wardrobe–inconsequential to God. Your poverty, your GED, your criminal record, your bus pass, your work clothes–inconsequential to God.
None of it matters to him, so we need to ask the question, “If it doesn’t matter to God, why does it matter to me?” Why do we look favorably on the ones who have more than us in this life, and look down on those who have less? How can we claim to have faith in Jesus (who died for ALL MEN equally), and discriminate?