[ The Trumans - Don’t Be a Respecter of Persons ]

As I start out this story, let me begin it with a question. Do we do nice things for some people and not for others based upon how the person looks, or how cool they appear to us? This may seem like a strange thing to ask, but sometimes do we help others, not with the intention of just being there to help out, but with the mind to impress someone in hopes of attracting that person, or to make ourselves appear better? Well, this is going to be a similar situation that Peter is going to face in this next story. He must decide if he is going to decide just with his eyes, or with his mind.

Don’t Be a Respecter of Persons

It was another school day for Peter, just like every other day, except for one thing. This day was going to be different because today was when his Science class was going to start working in the lab. He was so excited, because he really liked using chemicals and finding out what happened when they were mixed. It was his first time in the lab, so he was really excited.

“Hey Pete, over here,” said Nate, Peter’s friend, as Peter walked into his science class, “I got a table over here.”

“Hi Nate,” said Pete, “Thanks for getting us a table.”

“Sure thing, dude,” replied Nate, “I just hope we don’t get stuck with anybody that’s really weird at our table.”

Class was about to start, and more and more of the class started to show up and fill in the empty spots for the tables. No one was at their table yet, and everything was going just fine for Pete and Nate until Wayne Hall showed up.

“Oh, great,” whispered Nate to Peter, “I think Wayne’s coming to our table. Oh man, I hope he picks another table, I hope he picks another . . .”

“Hi Peter, Hi Nate, mind if I sit at your table?” asked Wayne.

“Well,” replied Nate, “I uh . . .”

“Great, thanks!” responded Wayne, as he put his books on the table next to Nate.

“Smooth move there, buddy,” said Pete, as he smiled to Nate.

“Oh, shut up!” replied Nate angrily.

Just as the teacher walked into the room to begin the class, Wayne leaned over to talk to Peter.

“Hey, Peter,” whispered Wayne, “Could I borrow a pen or a pencil from you? I know you always have some extra with you, and I seem to have misplaced mine.”

“Class just started, and I don’t want to disturb the class by digging around in my book bag. Maybe someone else has one,” replied Peter, as he looked very disturbed by Wayne’s question.

Finally, the teacher began the class and started talking about the day’s lesson. The teacher wasn’t but two minutes into the class when the door suddenly swung open.

“Ms. Perkins, it’s so good of you to join us. You’re late,” said the teacher to the girl who just walked in. “Please take a seat in the second row on the right.”

“Yes sir, sorry I’m late,” replied the girl as she walked to her designated table, which just happened to be where Peter was sitting.

As Peter watched all that was happening around him, he couldn’t believe what was happening. Jenny Perkins, the prettiest and smartest girl in class, was going to be sitting next to him at his table, and probably for the rest of the semester too. Even if someone had a crowbar, they still wouldn’t be able to pry the smile off Peter’s face at that moment.

“Hi Pete,” whispered Jenny, “Mind if I sit here?”

“Sure you can sit here,” whispered Peter as he tried to contain his excitement.

“Thanks, Pete,” replied Jenny, “By the way, would you happen to have a pen I could borrow? I forgot mine in the cafeteria.”

Without even thinking, Peter reached into his book bag and pulled out a pen and said, “Sure, you can use this one.”

“Thanks, Pete,” replied Jenny as she smiled back at Peter.

The next hour just flew by for Peter. The class was mixing and heating up all kinds of chemicals, plus Jenny was sitting next to him too, which made the class period even more awesome. Everything was going just great, that is until class ended.

“Hey Peter, what’s the big idea!” said Wayne angrily as he, Peter, and Nate were walking out of class, “I saw you give Jenny a pen during class. Why didn’t you give me one when I asked you for one?”

“I uh . . . well, I don’t know,” replied Pete sheepishly.

“Yeah, well I think I know why. She’s pretty and I’m just whatever,” replied Wayne sarcastically, “Some guy you are.”

“I’m sorry, Wayne. I just . . .”

Before Peter could finish his sentence, Wayne had already walked away. Peter didn’t feel too bad at first.

“I mean, he’s not really my friend anyway,” thought Peter, “Besides, it’s just a pen.”

But the more Peter started thinking about what had happened and playing the events over in his head, he really felt bad about the whole situation. As he stood there in the hallway, he realized then that the only reason he gave Jenny a pen and not Wayne was because he thought Jenny was attractive, and that really wasn’t fair at all to Wayne.

As he was mulling these thoughts over in his head, he started thinking about how his situation was similar to the passage in James 2:1-4, which reads, “My brothers, as believers in our glorious Master Yahshua the Messiah, don’t show favoritism. Suppose a man comes into your meeting wearing a gold ring and fine clothes, and a poor man in shabby clothes also comes in. If you show special attention to the man wearing fine clothes and say ‘Here’s a good seat for you,’ but say to the poor man, ‘You stand there’ or ‘Sit on the floor by my feet,’ have you not discriminated among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts?”

Peter then realized that he too had discriminated between Jenny and Wayne and had judged with bad intentions. Peter knew he had to try to make what he had done better, and try to right the wrong he had done to Wayne.

Thankfully Wayne hadn’t walked too far ahead, so Peter was able to dart after him to apologize. Peter didn’t try to explain his actions, but just accepted his wrong.

“I’m sorry, Wayne,” said Peter, “I really shouldn’t have acted the way I did to you. Can you forgive me?”

“I guess so,” replied Wayne, “I guess I might have done the same thing too if Jenny Perkins sat next to me,” he said with a smile.

“Well, next time I’ll help you both out,” replied Peter.

“Alright, well I’ll see you later Peter,” said Wayne as he started walking away.

“Hey Wayne,” said Peter before Wayne had completely turned away, “Do you want to hang out with Nate and me sometime? Maybe we can play some basketball or something?”

“Yeah, that sounds great,” said Wayne with a smile.

This situation that Peter has just faced can take on many forms. We might help someone because we view that person as being really popular, or that he or she has a higher job position than us, or someone that has more money than us. All of these scenarios, plus many more, can apply to this story. What we must remember is that in every situation we face in life, we must not judge or discriminate who we are kind to, and who we are not. Remember what is written over in Hebrews 13:2, which reads, “Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some people have entertained angels without knowing it.” You never know, the stranger you neglect to show kindness to could actually be an angel, so be kind to everyone.

“Let love of the brethren continue. Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by this some have entertained angels without knowing it.” (Hebrews 13:1-2; NASU)