Respecting person a sin?

Reading James (Bible) this morning - after he describes the rich, well-dressed man getting the royal treatment, while the poor man in shabby clothes is treated as a second-class citizen: "if ye have respect to persons, ye commit sin, and are convinced of the law as transgressors."

This is tough stuff! - and yet how often do we assume the shabby dressed one is somehow a failure while the other deserves our respect. What would Principle, Love say? What is our purpose? The shabby dressed one needs our love and respect, to help upbuild him. The last thing in the world the rich man needs is grovellers around him to feed his misplaced ego! 

Elsewhere in the Bible: "God is no respecter of persons." How do we get out of this damnable habit of respecting persons? Would it not be by watching for the need of the moment, by loving our neighbor as ourselves? - and this requires putting aside our personal preferences in order to discern correctly the need. Thus universal Love is in operation.