Yes indeed, it is good when you obey the royal law as found in the Scriptures: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” But if you favor some people over others, you are committing a sin. You are guilty of breaking the law.
It’s easy to start “hating” on the rich, but that’s not what James is calling us to do. In fact, he reminds us that the “royal law” commands us to “Love your neighbor as yourself,” and that includes the rich ones as well as the poor. I also think James is challenging the notion that we might try to disguise our favoritism of the rich as simply “loving them.” God sees right through that, so don’t even bother!
Favoritism, quite simply, is a sin…and an easy one to engage in. We favor the wealthy, the powerful, the popular, the well connected, the well dressed, and the well spoken. We favor the people who like us over the ones who aren't that impressed. We favor the people who most resemble our socioeconomic status over the ones who are “outside” our regular circle. Any way you slice it; favoritism elevates one group over another and violates the image of God that every one of us bears.
So the next time you find yourself playing favorites, remember that your snobbery is a sin. God created all of us in His image…not just the attractive ones or the rich ones or the ones you think can do something for you. Yes indeed, it is good to love EVERY neighbor as yourself.
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