“My brothers, as believers in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ, don’t show favoritism,” (Jms. 2:1).
Wouldn’t it be an exceedingly pleasant atmosphere if we truly avoided showing favoritism in our social interactions? Gone would be cliques and feelings of not belonging. Everyone would be welcomed warmly and know they are connected. In a perfect world, right?
James calls us to avoid preference. We prefer to seek out our friends rather than look around for new faces that need welcoming, whatever the venue – before and after church, a potluck, a B-B-Q, within our neighborhood… We need to move out of our comfort zone in order to help another feel more comfortable; that’s the challenge.
I have attended the same church for 47 years. I am a naturally outgoing person. Yet I can enter a social situation within my church family and feel like a stranger because everyone has chosen their favorites with whom they will sit and converse during that event – and I’m not one of them. It is a feeling that raises within me, 47 years connected, naturally outgoing, a desire to turn around and go home.
My personal challenge, of course, is to find others looking around for someone to be with and welcome them warmly, making sure they feel connected, making sure they don’t turn around and go home because of that same feeling.
It is fear of that feeling that drives us to establish our little groups, so we are assured of having our peeps around us at all events and won’t feel alone. God through James wants to dynamite cliques! They are self-serving and counter productive to kingdom-building. Down with cliques!