We have experienced a mild winter this year and spring is right around the corner. Praise be to God! Spring is my favorite season of the year. Being cooped up inside during the cold gray days of winter makes me long for milder springtime temperatures. It’s great to be able to open windows in our home and get outside to take some nice long neighborhood walks. Seeing new buds and blooms reminds me that new life is breaking out all around. I even start thinking a bit about Easter. You might prefer a beautiful snowfall or July 4th fireworks or colorful fall leaves, but I am partial to spring.
Isn’t it interesting that our preferences, our partialities, are such a big part of our identities? We have favorite foods, colors, friends, co-workers—even that favorite aunt or uncle. We prefer a particular place to shop, cheer for our favorite sports teams, and favor certain types of music. And we most assuredly express preferences in politics and religion. The list goes on and on. Our human nature seems to be “partial.” We simply prefer one, whatever it is, over another. No big deal, or is it?
But what happens when partiality is applied to individuals or groups of people? Simple preferences can grow into hurtful biases much too easily. I’m not confident that we have good self-awareness or really recognize how partial we are, or can be, at times. Even without realizing it, we may label, make false assumptions about, avoid making contact, or exclude those who look, speak, act or believe differently from us. It’s something worth our self-examination and prayer.
We are starting a new sermon series this Sunday titled, “Reconciling All Things.” It has the subtitle of, “No Partiality.” Reconciliation is about trying to make right relationships where there are deep divides and differences. I’m wondering how much of our partiality has gotten in the way of an opportunity for any form of reconciliation in our relationships. Reconciliation is about restoration. It may lead us into a better season of “new life” together! Praise be to God!
Romans 2:11…For there is no partiality with God.
Acts 10:34…Opening his mouth, Peter said: “I most certainly understand now that God is not one to show partiality.