A Forgotten Sin.

   There is a sin out there not often preached about. Not often thought about. Not often focused on. A sin that we all forget. A secret sin. A sin that is overlooked by the church.

   Imagine for a moment a man who is obviously wealthy and wears nice clothes, then there is a man who is poor to observation and wears clothes not as nice. Get that picture in your head. We all know someone who fits the description of each. Which one do you pay more attention to? Which does society pay attention to? 

   To show more attention to one over the other is partiality. Partiality is showing favoritism towards another. This is the sin that is often overlooked, not thought of and not preached on. My question however is this, is it really wrong to show favor towards one over another? Is partiality a sin? Why is it a sin? These are my questions.

   First question, is partiality a sin? The Scripture states "if you really fulfill the royal law according to the Scripture, 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself', you are doing well. But if you show partiality, you are committing sin and are convicted by the law as transgressors" (James 2:8,9). According to James, yes, when we are partial we commit sin.

   Second question is why? Why is showing partiality a sin? I think there are two reasons. First reason is this: when we show favoritism we fail to keep the command - love our neighbor's as ourselves -  found in Leviticus 19:18. If we only give attention to the wealthy man because of his wealth, because he wear's nice clothes and perhaps because he appears more approachable, more like ourselves, but we do not give attention to the poor man because he is unlike us, we fail to love the poor man as we love ourselves. This breaks the law given by God. Worse is that the Scripture states "whoever keeps the whole law but fails in one point has become accountable for all of it. For he who said, 'do not commit adultery', also said, 'do not murder'. If you do not commit adultery but do murder, you have become a transgressor of the law." (James 2:10,11) Thus, to show favoritism to others regardless of why is sin, making us no better than an adulterer and a murderer. If you do not commit adultery or murder but do partiality, you are a transgressor.

   Second reason would be this: to show partiality is unlike our heavenly Father. God shows no partiality. Peter came to understand this and stated "Truly I understand that God shows no partiality" (Acts 10:34). Likewise Paul also had this same revelation, there is no favoritism with God, as he stated in Romans 2:11, "For God shows no partiality." As children of God through faith in Jesus Christ, we are to be like our Father and not be partial.

   In conclusion I'll quote Solomon from Proverbs 28:21, "To show partiality is not good." Love your neighbor as yourself, those who are like you and those who are not. Treat everyone fairly. If we would love our neighbors as ourselves and treat other's the way we would like to be treated, regardless of who they are or what they may look like, and be fair to all man, we would witness a different society. 

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