1 Timothy 5:21 – I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus and of His chosen angels, to maintain these principles without bias, doing nothing in a spirit of partiality.
The subject of partiality is an important topic in God’s Word. Paul uses very strong language to encourage Timothy to not fall into the trap of bias as it relates to the principles in which he is to instruct God’s people. All the believers are to be treated equally in regard to instruction and discipline.
It is easy to have favorites and to give some individuals special treatment. We are to remember that the Lord is no respecter of persons. Whether a person is rich or poor, a leader, or simply a member of the fellowship, we must not show favoritism. Peter learned about bias the hard way when Paul called him out in a mixed room of Jewish and Gentile believers (Galatians 2:11-14).
Peter was comfortably having fellowship with Gentile believers. Being a Jew, he had been raised with terrible bias against the gentiles. The Jews viewed the Gentiles as dogs. Peter had come a long way since his dream concerning God’s acceptance of the Gentiles in Acts 10. He preached the gospel to Cornelius and his household, a Gentile in search of truth (Acts 10).
Peter still had some degree of bias in his heart. When some Jewish believers who were part of James’ team arrived from Jerusalem, Peter broke off fellowship with the Gentile believers and moved toward the Jewish believers. Paul saw this take place and rebuked Peter publicly for his bias.
Bias and partiality have always have been a large problem in the church. There has been bias against the Jews, believing that it was the Jews that murdered Christ. The Scriptures declare that we are all guilty before God. There has been bias toward various parts of the church. This was especially true between the Western Church and the Eastern Church. It was true between the Roman Catholic Church and Protestant churches. It was true among various Protestant churches known as denominations. It is still true today among many believers in regard to other believers.
God sees us through Christ. All bias has been crucified with Christ. This is the basis for God’s view of being impartial toward all peoples. When the gentiles received the Holy Spirit, Peter recognized God’s view and says, “I most certainly understand now that God is not one to show partiality” (Acts 10:34).
Father, create in me Your heart of impartiality. Help me to see others the way You do, through Christ and His atoning death and resurrection.