Big D's Blog

You're My Favorite

You're My Favorite

“My brethren, do not hold your faith in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ with an attitude of personal favoritism. For if a man comes into your assembly with a gold ring and dressed in fine clothes, and there also comes in a poor man in dirty clothes, and you pay special attention to the one who is wearing the fine clothes, and say, 'You sit here in a good place,' and you say to the poor man, 'You stand over there, or sit down by my footstool,' have you not made distinctions among yourselves, and become judges with evil motives?” (James 2:1-4)

The context of these verses is that people were discriminating against the poor and favoring the rich. Why? They are doing it for two reasons: one, they had made distinctions between themselves, and two, they had become judges with evil motives. This is what people in the world do, but this is not acceptable behavior for the people of God, especially for leaders. If we are truly in Christ, we won’t judge the value of a person based upon their financial status, gender, age, or race. We will not show favoritism, but we will treat each person with equal value. When we do otherwise we will breed anger and jealousy. Such was the case in the lives of Jacob and his twelve sons.

The surprising, yet serious effects of favoritism

Before Benjamin was born, Joseph was the youngest of ten brothers. Joseph’s father, Jacob, favored his youngest son as he was the first born of Jacob’s favorite wife, Rachel, and Joseph was the son of his old age. “Now Israel (Jacob) loved Joseph more than all his sons, because he was the son of his old age; and he made him a varicolored tunic.” (Gen. 37:3) Giving Joseph such a gift, keeping him from hard work (by keeping him at home while his brothers went out to the fields to work), and lavishing his love upon him by encouraging him to share his dreams did not go unnoticed by Joseph’s brothers.“His brothers saw that their father loved him more than all his brothers; and so they hated him and could not speak to him on friendly terms.” (Gen. 37:4) Eventually the brothers’ jealousy and hate turned into a plan to kill Joseph. One day they took him out to a place where they were going to kill him, but the oldest brother talked them out of it. Instead, they ended up selling Joseph to human traffickers. They then proceeded to cover Joseph’s fancy coat in the blood of an animal and brought the coat to their father, fabricating a story about how Joseph was attacked and killed by a wild animal.

As leaders in the Church (Pastor, Music Minister, Youth Leader, etc.), we need to be super careful not to favor certain people or groups because they are rich, or a man/woman, or because they can do something for us. It’s fine to have friends, but God has called us to minister to all people, not just a certain few. If we are showing favoritism (knowingly or unknowingly), I can almost guarantee that this behavior is breeding hurt, anger and jealousy in the hearts of some of those around us. That jealousy, if unchecked, will breed murder in the sense of slander and gossip and will, no doubt result in division on some level.

It’s time we call favoritism what it is: Sin. It’s time we start looking at all people as equally valuable and worthy of our time and ministry.

Maybe you’ve never seen yourself as a person who shows partiality. It’s worth a look considering the dire consequences favoritism can bring.

As servants of the Most High, God never called us to say to any one group or person, “You sit here in this good place because You’re My Favorite.

Shalom, Big D

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