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James 1:22-2:13Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)

22 But be doers of the word and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. 23 Because if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man looking at his own face[a] in a mirror. 24 For he looks at himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. 25 But the one who looks intently into the perfect law of freedom and perseveres in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but one who does good works—this person will be blessed in what he does.

26 If anyone[b] thinks he is religious without controlling his tongue, then his religion is useless and he deceives himself. 27 Pure and undefiled religion before our[c] God and Father is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself unstained by the world.

The Sin of Favoritism

My brothers, do not show favoritism as you hold on to the faith in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ. For example, a man comes into your meeting wearing a gold ring and dressed in fine clothes, and a poor man dressed in dirty clothes also comes in. If you look with favor on the man wearing the fine clothes and say, “Sit here in a good place,” and yet you say to the poor man, “Stand over there,” or, “Sit here on the floor by my footstool,” haven’t you discriminated among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts?

Listen, my dear brothers: Didn’t God choose the poor in this world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom that He has promised to those who love Him? Yet you dishonored that poor man. Don’t the rich oppress you and drag you into the courts? Don’t they blaspheme the noble name that was pronounced over you at your baptism?

Indeed, if you keep the royal law prescribed in the Scripture, Love your neighbor as yourself,[d] you are doing well. But if you show favoritism, you commit sin and are convicted by the law as transgressors. 10 For whoever keeps the entire law, yet fails in one point, is guilty of breaking it all. 11 For He who said, Do not commit adultery,[e] also said, Do not murder.[f] So if you do not commit adultery, but you do murder, you are a lawbreaker.

12 Speak and act as those who will be judged by the law of freedom. 13 For judgment is without mercy to the one who hasn’t shown mercy. Mercy triumphs over judgment.

Footnotes:

  1. James 1:23 Lit at the face of his birth
  2. James 1:26 Other mss add among you
  3. James 1:27 Or before the
  4. James 2:8 Lv 19:18
  5. James 2:11 Ex 20:14; Dt 5:18
  6. James 2:11 Ex 20:13; Dt 5:17

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