An Idea Borrowed

Years ago on a radio program someone shared that they read a chapter in Proverbs every day. Since there are 31 chapters and the longest month has 31 days it allows you to read through Proverbs on a regular basis. I use it as the launch pad for my personal worship time and branch out from there. On this blog I will try to share some of the insights I have in the Word. I will try to organize them in the archive by reference.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Maybe You Don’t Deserve No Respect

(Proverbs 28:21 KJV)  To have respect of persons is not good: for for a piece of bread that man will transgress.

God has no place for “respect (5234) of persons (6440)” (partiality NASB).  We forget that this cuts both ways.  The poor are not noble, but neither are the rich.

Being impartial is not the same thing as being indiscriminate.  It used to be that discrimination was a valuable character trait.  Thus you might have a discriminating palate.  That meant you knew good food from greasy spoon productions.  The word fell out of favor when it began to be modified by adjectives that changed the reasons for making choice, such as “racial discrimination.”  Perhaps a more accurate phrase would have been “racial partiality.” 

“Partiality” (5234/6440) infers that you are using personal standards to judge value.  This is okay in choosing the restaurant you want to visit tonight.  It is not acceptable in deciding who gets to live in your neighborhood.  Discrimination is the legitimate decisions we make based on experience and wisdom.  Thus it is wrong to exclude someone from your apartment because of skin color but right to refuse to rent to a pedophile. 

So?  There are reasons to make decisions.  Make sure that you don’t judge people on grounds that are not Biblical.  Let experience, interpreted by wisdom and led the by the Holy Spirit be your guide. 


Gorges Smythe said...

I would respectfully disagree with you on not renting due to personal "prejudices" being wrong. A person's property should be their own. They bought it, they pay taxes on it, they maintain it. It should be considered an obvious part of property rights. The owner's prejudices are, likely as not, based on past experience and concerns for protecting their property value. However, there should NOT be prejudice in public (government) services or access to government-owned properties, since they are paid for by the general public.

Pumice said...

I think there is often confusion about prejudice. Opinions based on experience are not prejudice, they are wisdom. I think that is what you are saying. And I totally agree that a person should have the legal right to rent or not depending on their own standards.

The whole idea of all men being created equal is their standing before the law and government, not that we all are actually equal.

Good response. (Yours, not mine)

Grace and peace.

Gorges Smythe said...

I guess it's easy to get cross-wired based on which definitions we're using, Pumice. But, your piece has given me a good idea for a post. Enjoy your day!

Pumice said...

Always willing to be of service.

Grace and peace