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No Favourites

1 Timothy 5:21
I charge you, in the sight of God and Christ Jesus and the elect angels, to keep these instructions without partiality, and to do nothing out of favouritism. (NIV)

Every culture has its ways of ‘getting round the system’. Favouritism is displayed in many ways: arranging jobs and housing, direct and indirect bribery and supporting things which are wrong for the sake of family or other honour. That was certainly true in 1st century Ephesus despite all the efforts of the Roman Empire to ensure fair and just systems of taxation and personal rights.
 
Paul’s command to Timothy is overlaid by the awareness that God the Father, Jesus Christ and the whole company of heaven were watching him. Nothing must be done secretly, no favouritism should be entertained, and nobody should be allowed to have a ‘special deal’ which favoured them or their family. Much of this chapter deals with money and it probably remains the most sensitive of all areas for many churches.
 
It is usually very helpful for the church leader not to have control over church money. It is a distraction at best and a temptation at worst. As Paul will say in the next chapter, “the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil” (1 Timothy 6:10). Godly people should always seriously question their own motives whenever money, influence, patronage, or a ‘special relationship’ is involved. The Word of God applies to everybody: rich and poor, young and old, male and female, whatever their work or spiritual responsibility. Wise Christian leaders need to apply Bible principles equally to all, in the same way as a wise father should treat all his children equally having no favourites.

Prayer 
Father God. Thank You very much for being clear about what is good and bad, wise and unwise. Thank You that You have no favourites. Please forgive me for not disciplining my natural tendency to prefer some people above others, to overlook some things which are wrong, and to be involved with bribery in one form or another. Please help me to understand how wrong this is, and enable me to honour the truth by applying it equally to everybody including myself. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
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© Dr Paul Adams