Philippians 2:3-4 - "Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory: but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than themselves. Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others."
Questions for Reflection: Do you tend to draw attention to yourself? Do you often promote yourself and put others down? Are you highly competitive and desire to win and be number one at all costs? Do you seek to be the center of attention? Do you usually think mostly in terms of your own needs and desires? Is your attitude such that you feel you are better and smarter than others? Do you have an inordinate need to be noticed and praised by people? Do you tend to surround yourself with "status symbols" that flaunt wealth or appearance? God hates all forms of arrogance and self exaltation (Proverbs 8:13, 1 Peter 5:5). If you sense God's conviction, immediately confess and forsake this sin. Be specific and write down changes God wants you to embrace.
James 2:1,4 - "My brethren, have not the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, with respect of persons ... Are you not then partial in yourselves, and are become judges of evil thoughts?"
In the above Scripture, we note the extreme importance of rejecting sins of prejudice and partiality. Because each person has great value to God, believers should never harbor hostility or prejudice toward those of different race, physical appearance or economic standing. It is profoundly wrong to pre-judge and devalue other persons. Tragically, prejudice comes in many subtle forms and is all too common among believers. Some believers arrogantly believe they can even judge the inner motives of others. In many cases, such sins of prejudice go wholly unrecognized and unconfessed.
Questions for Reflection: Do you associate only with those very similar to yourself? Do you tend to look down on people who are not as financially affluent? Conversely, do you resent those who have more monetarily? Do you closely associate only with your own race or culture? Are you suspicious of those from a different race, culture or background? Do you think you are too good to befriend someone who is physically unattractive? Do you tend to resent people more physically attractive or gifted than yourself? Have you sought to reach out to other culture groups or have you settled into a social "comfort zone"?
Has your church placed too high a premium on reaching certain classes of people? Though we can disguise it with rationalizations, we must reject any tendency to avoid certain segments of society. Have you placed an inordinate emphasis on reaching the more affluent?
For the sake of balance, let me state that it's understandable for people to have closer associations with those similar to themselves. Such natural cultural affinities do not necessarily indicate prejudice. However, if you harbor any hostilities or willful avoidance of others, you are indeed guilty of prejudice and partiality. If you seldom reach out to other groups, you stand in serious need of confession and repentance.
In confessing our sins of pride and prejudice, let us confidently claim the forgiveness and empowerment of the covenant in Christ's blood. We are fully accepted and justified in Him!