Playing Favorites


God tells us not to favor certain people over others.


A large box of used crayons


James 2:1-10

What kinds of things come to mind when you think of back-to-school time? (Pause.) One school supply that many of you need when you go back to school is a box of crayons. (Show the box of crayons.)

I have many crayons here, and they’re all different sizes and colors. Some are sharp and some are dull. Some have strange-sounding names. Some are like-new and others have been used quite a bit. The wrappers are fresh on some, while others are torn and dirty.

We can learn a lot from these crayons. Even though they may have differences, they all fit very nicely in the same box. That’s a good picture of the way the church should be. The people that make up the church come in all sizes and colors, and some may even have names that sound different from yours. Some are old and some are young. Some are dressed in very nice clothes, while others may wear clothing that is dirty and worn.

Have you ever noticed people being treated differently because they did not look or act like others? (Pause.)

James, the brother of Jesus, wrote in the Bible that the followers of Jesus should not show favoritism, or treat one person better than someone else. He said, "My friends, if you have faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, you won't treat some people better than others.” James explained that if a rich person wearing fancy clothes and a gold ring comes to one of your meetings and a poor person dressed in worn-out clothes also comes, you must not give the best seat to the one in fancy clothes and tell the one who is poor to stand at the side or sit on the floor. That is the same as saying that some people are better than others, which the Bible says is wrong. 

We must be careful not to show favoritism in our church or anywhere else. We’re all God's children, whether we’re rich or poor, or of any kind of race. As James said, "You will do all right if you obey the most important law in the Scriptures. It’s the law that commands us to love others as much as we love ourselves."

Dear God, please help us to love one another as You have loved us--showing us how every person is adored by You. We don’t want to play favorites with Your people. In Jesus' name, amen.