26 If anyone[a] thinks he is religious without controlling his tongue,(A) his religion is useless and he deceives himself. 27 Pure and undefiled religion before God the Father is this: to look after orphans and widows(B) in their distress and to keep oneself unstained from the world.(C)

The Sin of Favoritism

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

Listen, my dear brothers and sisters: Didn’t God choose the poor in this world(E) to be rich in faith(F) and heirs(G) of the kingdom that he has promised to those who love him? Yet you have dishonored the poor.(H) Don’t the rich oppress you and drag(I) you into court? Don’t they blaspheme the good name that was invoked over you?(J)

Indeed, if you fulfill the royal law prescribed in the Scripture, Love your neighbor as yourself,[b](K) you are doing well. If, however, you show favoritism,(L) you commit sin and are convicted by the law as transgressors. 10 For whoever keeps the entire law, and yet stumbles at one point, is guilty of breaking it all.(M) 11 For he who said, Do not commit adultery,[c] also said, Do not murder.[d](N) So if you do not commit adultery, but you murder, you are a lawbreaker.

12 Speak and act as those who are to be judged by the law of freedom.(O) 13 For judgment is without mercy to the one who has not shown mercy.(P) Mercy triumphs over judgment.

Footnotes

  1. 1:26 Other mss add among you
  2. 2:8 Lv 19:18
  3. 2:11 Ex 20:14; Dt 5:18
  4. 2:11 Ex 20:13; Dt 5:17

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