Avoiding Partiality

JESUS SPEAKING

                Now the Pharisees, who were lovers of money, also heard all these things, and they derided Him.  And he said to them, “You are those who justify yourselves before men, but God knows your hearts.  For what is highly esteemed among men is an abomination to God” (Luke 16: 14-15.)

INSPIRED THOUGHTS 

                What the world considers valuable and what God considers valuable are often in direct opposition.  Most esteem beauty, wealth, fame, power, and intellect above Godliness, compassion, love, humility, and genuine mercy.  The Pharisees (religious leaders) hearts were wicked; they preferred interacting with the wealthy, affluent, and well educated. Jesus however, fellowshipped with repentant prostitutes and tax collectors; he reached out to the lame and befriended many outcasts. He avoided showing any form of ungodly partiality; preferring instead, to honor and esteem only those things that God deemed commendable.

                In the Old Testament, we read of a time when it became necessary to anoint a new king to rule over the nation of Israel.  The Lord commanded the prophet Samuel to travel to Bethlehem, where he was instructed to choose a king from among the Sons of Jesse.  Upon arriving, Samuel laid his eyes upon Eliab (one of the eldest sons); Eliab was mature, healthy, and strong.  The prophet, being mislead by worldly values, proclaimed, “Surely the Lord’s anointed is before him!”  God responded, saying, “Do not look at his appearance or his physical stature, because I have refused him, for the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”  After God had rejected seven of Jesse’s eldest sons, it appeared that there was no one left.  Samuel asked if all his Sons were present; Jesse replied, “Well there remains yet the youngest, and there he is, keeping the sheep.”  When David, the youngest and weakest of Jesse’s son’s appeared, God said, “Arise and anoint him, for this is the one.”  In time it became apparent why God chose David. He possessed priceless spiritual values; he was wise and loved God with his whole heart; his courage and faith were unshakable.

                In all cultures it is common to show partiality; most prefer the wealthy, affluent, and good looking; yet to highly esteem such attributes is to error. The apostle James wrote, “For if there should come in to your assembly a man with Gold rings ‘and also’ a poor man in filthy clothes, and you pay attention to the one wearing fine clothes and say to him, “You sit here in a good place,” and say to the poor man, “You stand there,” or “Sit at my footstool,” have you not shown partiality among yourselves, and become judges with evil thoughts?”  Every believer must therefore make an effort to avoid esteeming worldly values.  With God’s help, we can be impartial; we can see with His eyes; we can become lovers of truth; men and women who adore kindness, cherish compassion, and embrace mercy.

                “Lord Heavenly Father, guide us, and lead us as we journey through this life.  Give us clean hearts, that we might avoid partiality, and love what is truly good.  May we turn away from worldly pursuits, and walk in Your ways; may we love what You love; may we value what You value; and may we live as You have lived.  We love You Father, we praise You, and we thank You, and we ask and pray all of these things, according to Your will, in Jesus Christ’s name, Amen.”  God bless all of you.

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