“For if there should come into your assembly a man with gold rings, in fine apparel, and there should also come in a poor man in filthy clothes, and you pay attention to the one wearing the fine clothes and say to him, “You sit here in a good place,” and say to the poor man, ‘You stand there,’ or, ‘Sit here at my footstool,’ have you not shown partiality among yourselves, and become judges with evil thoughts? Listen, my beloved brethren: Has God not chosen the poor of this world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom which He promised to those who love Him? But you have dishonored the poor man” (James 2:2-6).
Everyone has likes and dislikes. There are things you prefer and things you don’t. This is not inherently sinful.
What is sinful is being partial toward or against someone because of ungodly values, i.e., wrong motives (or what James calls “evil thoughts”).
To favor a person who dresses well and/or denigrate one who is poorly clothed is evil. This is treating people differently because of something as superficial as their physical appearance. For a Christian to believe another’s genuine worth is determined by his clothes, income, skin color, or ancestry—instead of Calvary—is wicked and inexcusable.
The ungodly believe your personal worth and value are determined by what you have. The godly knows such is decisively settled by what God did in creation and Christ did in redemption.
Partiality is incompatible with godly values and God’s grace.