It is not good to show partiality in judgment.
He who says to the wicked, 'You are righteous,'
Him the people will curse.
Most of today's churches play favorites. So did the Jews in the days of Jesus, when big titles, like high priest, could be bought.** With modern educational systems (and various church certifications), influential degrees can still be bought.
Certainly, time and training are involved, but so are money and men's opinions.
Within the first churches, like Antioch, men 'Prayed with fasting' (Acts 14:23, NKJV) to choose their leaders. Now we use resumes and background checks. We investigate social media, because worship centers are big business. Partiality is customary in judging appropriate candidates.
Consequently, similar practices filter down through the body of the church--to the halting feet of contrasting guests who aren't the same 'type' as the normal crowd. What value could they bring to God's table?
We pretend to smile, but soon turn away. Nervous newcomers move by awkwardly.
Actors, models and talent for Christ: Hollywood loves to pick favorites, with red carpets, credits and trophies. But that's okay. You don't judge the world, but you should kindly correct your kin. One way is by your own example.
So when a situation comes up when you can welcome shy newcomers, by:
Embracing those who look different,***
Asking them to sit and talk with you,
Praying for God-ordained leadership,
Practicing His Own codes of conduct...
Then you can show just One Favorite--giving others pause to stop and think.
## Proverbs For Performers: Favorites In Church (Part 37)
* 'When a man hath once accustomed himself to take bribes, a very small advantage will make him sell justice, and his own soul into the bargain' (Benson Commentary on Proverbs 28:21). http://biblehub.com/commentaries/proverbs/28-21.htm
** Short article: High Priest Corruption: http://jewishroots.net/library/miscellaneous/high_priest_corruption.html
*** 'For if there should come into your assembly a man with gold rings, in fine apparel, and there should also come in a poor man in filthy clothes, and you pay attention to the one wearing the fine clothes and say to him, 'You sit here in a good place,' and say to the poor man, 'You stand there,' or, 'Sit here at my footstool,' have you not shown partiality among yourselves, and become judges with evil thoughts?' (James 2:2-4).
NOTE: This is a republished edit of a 2016 devotion series, 'Proverbs For Performers.' You may see notes to 'Actors, Models & Talent for Christ.' If you think you're not in show business, think again. Every disciple in every field performs for Christ. Shakespeare said, 'All the world's a stage and all its men and women merely players.' Mostly true. But you're not 'merely players.' You are messengers and ambassadors for the King of kings.
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Proverbs For Performers series.