"My brothers, as believers in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ, don't show favoritism. Suppose a man comes into your meeting wearing a gold ring and fine clothes, and a poor man in shabby clothes also comes in. If you show special attention to the man wearing fine clothes and say, 'Here's a good seat for you,' but say to the poor man...'Sit on the floor by my feet,' have you not discriminated among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts? Listen, my dear brothers: Has not God chosen those who are poor in the eyes of the world to be rich in faith and to inherit the kingdom he promised those who love him?"
1. In what areas do you show favoritism? Are you more comfortable around white, clean, upper middle class people? Does a person's race affect the way you look at him? Are certain races more likely to bother you than others (i.e., Middle Eastern)?
2. Who do you think is considered "poor in the eyes of the world"?
3. What else does the Bible say about rich and poor people? (See Exodus 23:11, Psalm 49:12, Proverbs 23:5, Zechariah 7:10, Matthew 19: 22-24, Mark 10:21, 2 Cor. 8-9, 1 Tim. 6:9)
4. Are you particular about who you show mercy to? Do you find yourself showing mercy only to those you like?
5. James 2:13 says, "Mercy triumphs over judgment." What do you think this means? How does this make you feel?
Think of a time when God was merciful to you and showed you favor when you didn't deserve it. Give him thanks and pray for him to help you not to show favoritism, but to care equally for all people.