You can probably remember being in school and realizing that there were certain people next to whom no one wanted to sit during lunch. Even today, there may be certain people that many folks with whom they don't want to be seen. The kingdom of God, however, operates on exactly the opposite standard.

In 1 Corinthians 12:23-24, the apostle Paul reminds us that those members of the body, which we think to be less honorable, upon these we bestow more abundant honor; and our uncomely parts have more abundant comeliness. For our comely parts have no need: but God hath tempered the body together, having given more abundant honor to that part which lacked.(KJV) So not only should we be willing to associate with anyone, we actually should be willing to give extra attention to those who need it most. Isn't that a beautiful picture of God's love and grace? In fact, isn't that what God did with us?

We are told by James, the brother of Jesus, not to practice favoritism in welcoming people into our church assembles. (James 2:1-9) The apostle Paul says that we should be of the same mind one toward another. Mind not high things, but condescend to men of low estate. Be not wise in your own conceits. (Romans 12:16 KJV) No one of us is better than the other. We are all sinners, saved by grace or we are a sinner not yet saved by grace. Jesus was a great example for us. He spent time with tax collectors, sinners, common people, diseased people, and prostitutes as well as religious leaders, teachers, disciples, and believers.

Let's go out of our way to befriend others!
The next time we see someone excluded, shunned, or left out, let's go out of our way to befriend that person and show him or her, the unconditional love of Jesus. Let's show them abundant honor. After all, they are of eternal value to God, so that person should be equally valued by us.