The Sin of Partiality

Racism has been a popular topic in our media over the last few years. Whether or not you believe it is as big an issue as some claim makes no difference, but it is a part of a much bigger problem that has plagued mankind since time began. Partiality, or showing one type of person favor over another, cannot be a part of the Christian’s life. It takes many forms; racism, favor toward the rich, praising the athletic over the scholastic and so on and so forth but regardless it is still a sin. Those who are caught in it will often try to justify their actions, often using stereotypes or the actions of only one person to say that group deserves it. The Christian on the other hand should treat all types of people the same, with love and respect. This is not to say that we accept any sins that they commit but we do our best to see them as God sees them, as individuals that need to be saved and we must therefore want to. Let us look more deeply as to why partiality is such a bad thing.

  1. It is not how God feels: If there is one thing that makes God the perfect judge is that He has no since of partiality. When it came to punishment in the Old Testament, even those close to Him did not escape His wrath. Look at Moses when he smote the rock instead of speaking to it (Numbers 20:8-12). Despite his being able to speak with God face to face, this did not allow him exemption from punishment. David was the same way. He was known as a man after God’s heart but after his sin with Bathsheba he too was punished. God does not allow sin at all. Then we look at passages like Colossians 3:11. In the kingdom of God, our race and our wealth does not distinguish us in God’s sight. We all can achieve heaven and will face the same judgment.
  2. It will hinder us in our work for Christ: Imagine back to the time before any of us were Christians. Now think if no one taught you the gospel because of your background. Just because you were white, grew up a Catholic or maybe grew up poor, no one thought you worthy for the kingdom of God. Even if they did teach it would only be because God told them to. Would you be very receptive of the gospel then?
  3. It makes us sinners: In James 2, the writer goes into great detail about this sin. He says that even if we keep everything else but stumble in this point, we violate the law. Granted, he makes a blanket statement and covers all sin but this would definitely fit as well.
  4. It causes us to feel no love: Many people who feel partial toward others still view themselves as loving. Let us think about this for just a moment. We are told to love our neighbors as ourselves and this includes all men. What does love entail? It means we look past the outward appearance, past the background to who the person actually is. Even if that person is a horrible individual we are still to love them (Luke 6:35). Love also means doing what is best for them, even if it personally costs us and they are ungrateful. After hearing this description, how does this fit with partiality? The truth is, it does not. We cannot be loving and partial at the same time.

Partiality is a awful thing. We must remember that God made every single person who walks on this earth, the bad and the good. Let us also not forget that Jesus died for every one of them, bad and good. If everyone is worth Jesus’s death in the eyes of God, then they should be worth our love and attention as well.