This passage gives a really simple message, one we probably already know deep down, but one that we should really get hold of with the world being like it is.
We are told as believers of Jesus, not to show favouritism to different types of people. This is something that is quite a big problem around the world, some people seem to be treated better in the media, in school, and so on. The difference James talks about us the difference in treatment between rich and poor, a problem which is still very much around today, but there are other differences too, race, nationality, not bad things at all, but things we sometimes use as prejudice against people.
As Christians we are told here to be different, to stand out and welcome those who may not be welcome elsewhere. That’s how people will know that God’s love is in us. Think of how you can change your attitudes to be more welcoming and accepting of all people even if they’re different.
This is one area where we can often fall short of God’s will and without Jesus this would be bad for us. But Jesus’ sacrifice, which James assumes we know about, made up for all our mistakes so we can live in freedom. So God no longer holds our sin against us, that’s why James says “Mercy triumphs judgement”. So we should follow Gods loving example and not judge people but show kindness and love to them.