15 July 2019

Exodus 23:3, Deuteronomy 21:15–17, James 2:1–9

Favoritism generally does not result in good things. By good things, we don’t mean financial gain. The normal “benefits” of favoritism is gaining influence or wealth to the detriment of another, usually by showing preferential behavior to an individual.

Most of the time, favoritism is construed as the “weaker” party trying to curry favoritism with the “stronger” party. Usually, the intent would be wealth, power, or protection.

However, that is not the only form of favoritism. There is a form of favoritism that shows preferential treatment for the poor or disadvantaged.

We have, with good reason, developed a methodology to aid historically disadvantaged people. It is an attempt to show favoritism to those who were shown quite the opposite for generations. Regardless of one’s political perspective, God directs us to not show favoritism.

Now, here is the narrow path we walk. We cannot fix a broken system or broken culture, for both are made of broken people, separated from God and in broken relationship with one another.

What we can do is love each other. What is really hard is to, but is the most important, is to love each other without favoritism. How does that work? Often, poorly. We all have our friends. We have our “groups”. That collection of people with whom we are the most comfortable. Yet, when we show favoritism, we alienate. We dehumanize. Most of all, when we show favoritism we separate the people of God’s family from each other.

1) What do you think of the word favoritism? What thoughts come to mind?

2) Have you ever been a victim of favoritism? Have you ever shown favoritism?

3) Why do we show favoritism? How does favoritism damage the family of God?

Published by

Pastor Ian

Ian is an ordained Elder in The Church of the Nazarene, and is currently serving as the Online Campus Pastor at Generations Community Church in Marysville, WA, USA.