You know what’s interesting? The two most wise women in my life are the most impartial women I know. They seek out the outsiders. They look to meet the needs of all who surround them, not just those closest to them.
It’s almost as if James was on to something when he included “impartiality” in his description of true, godly wisdom.
“But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere.” James 3:17
When I think about it, truly to be impartial is to be peaceable, pure, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy, and sincere. It’s to pursue peace with all, love others with a pure motive, be gentle in our handling of other people, remain open to hearing perspectives that differ from our own, show mercy to those many may avoid, and love others out of sincerity.
Each one of these attributes could become a blog post. They display the beauty of a heart touched by Jesus. They convict me of my need to grow in this area.
James previously warned his readers against showing partiality in the beginning of his letter (James 2:1-13). Though they lifted up the rich above the poor in importance, I find my heart commits this same sin in other ways. I have a feeling I’m not alone.
We show partiality by…
only seeking out those who are like us,
becoming friends with someone for what we can gain from them,
refusing fellowship with a person whose sin struggles (past or present) are different than ours,
being unwilling to listen to different perspectives,
wanting to be in the “in-crowd” (something that shouldn’t exist in the church at all by the way) while ignoring those on the fringes,
pouring our time into relationships for our own benefit rather than striving to be a friend to the people God has naturally brought into our life,
only being willing to be friends with someone who fits in with our circumstances or hobbies,
judging the worth of other image-bearers by their clothing or personality,
avoiding people with a different background or childhood.
Because our hearts are deeply wicked, I’m sure there are many other ways we show partiality that I missed.
I wanna be a woman who loves others with a sincere, impartial heart, not for what they can give me. I want my life to echo the impartiality of the Father when he looks at his children. He doesn’t lift up one as more beneficial than the other. Maybe because he doesn’t need us. He simply loves us because of who he is. Oh Lord, may I not need others to love me. May I instead love them because you have poured out your love on me.
A person who is increasingly impartial toward others is a person growing in wisdom. Praise the Lord for his promise that he gives wisdom to anyone who asks! If you’re convicted like me and see where you may need to grow in this area, join me in prayer to the God who “gives generously to all, without reproach.”