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  • Shawn Thornton

A.K.A Pat Thorsen

Sunday - January 24th

Devotionals from the Book of James

Scripture to Read Today: James 2:1-13


My dear brothers and sisters,

how can you claim to have faith

in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ

if you favor some people over others?

James 2:1 NLT

In my sophomore year of high school, Mr. Jurkowitz (yes, his real name) taught my Health Class. He was very close to retirement. He had played for the Detroit Lions in the early years of professional football. Mr. Jurkowitz told us they didn't wear very substantial helmets then, and he took a few too many severe hits to the head. During the first day of class, he made it clear that he had some memory issues.

Over the first few weeks of class, Mr. Jurkowitz unapologetically shared with us that due to his memory issues, he had favorite students (or "teacher's pets"). He explained that current students who reminded him of some of his favorite former students would get special treatment in his class. It became quickly apparent to all of us as students that he wasn't kidding. Fortunately, I reminded him of a former student he liked named Pat Thorsen.

So, Mr. Jurkowitz rarely called on me in class, regularly encouraged me to use his class to study for other courses and gave me reasonably good grades for minimal effort on my part. Students who weren't his favorites hated it - of course. Students who were the teacher's pets could do nothing to fall out of his favor or convince him to treat all of his students equally.

With Mr. Jurkowitz, favoritism was blatant. He said it would happen, and it did. Fortunately, his health class was not that challenging, and his open approach to having teacher's pets never hurt anyone academically or personally. Of course, I write this as one of his favorites - A.K.A Pat Thorsen.

The Scriptures make it clear that God made everyone in His image. Everyone then has value, worth, and dignity. The followers of Jesus Christ should lead in our world by the way we treat everyone equally. Perhaps one of the clearest passages addressing the problem of favoritism in the church is James 2:1-13. The first verse of the passage says it so concisely. "My dear brothers and sisters, how can you claim to have faith in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ if you favor some people over others" (James 2:1 NLT)?

Are there people you look down on? Are there people you value to the point you overlook others?

Jesus valued people equally. We should follow his example and treat everyone with equality and dignity!


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