Preferential Treatment


"In chapter two of John’s Gospel account, we read of Jesus driving unjust merchants and moneychangers from the temple. Directly following this, in chapter three, Jesus welcomes a member of the very class of people who allowed these injustices to take place. Jesus welcomed both poor and rich, those without rank in society and those who enjoyed privilege and power. It was not the status of the rich and powerful that offended Jesus, but the abuse of their power. He welcomed all those who demonstrated spiritual hunger.

I have had the privilege of meeting ambassadors and leaders of government, heads of major corporations, and mayors of cities and towns. What stands out to me about many of the leaders I have met is how approachable they are.

Truly great people are not impressed by their own positions or power. They make time for people. And they’re great conversationalists.

Everyone has a story. American Ambassador William Turner and his wife, Cynthia, always amazed me with their ability to engage people in conversation, no matter their rank in life. Whether speaking to prostitutes or priests, they impressed me over and over again at their ability to ask simple, heartfelt questions and then listen earnestly to the responses.

Insecure leaders want people to hear about them. But secure and effective leaders want to hear about others.

Do you give equal respect to both the wealthy and the marginalized of society? In some circles, it is popular to welcome the poor but the rich and powerful are looked upon with mistrust. Or vice versa. Jesus didn’t show preferences. He welcomed all who received Him, no matter their race, gender, or role."

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