READ: 1 Timothy 5:17-24
Growing up in my family, my siblings and I had a running joke that my parents have a ‘hierarchy of love‘. At the top is always my brother, “Mr. Golden Boy”, then it would bounce from my sister and me depending on what type of a year we were having and how much trouble we were getting into. My sister and I are a bit more adventurous than my brother, and with that came more cause for worry in my parents.
All kidding aside, of course! I know my parents love all three of us just the same and a whole lot!
Nevertheless, it can be fun to play favorites when you are the one making that distinction, but not so fun when your not the one favored, and worse yet, when you know you are not the favorite.
Our world has glorified celebrity and it has become more of the norm to view some people as better than others. If you’re beautiful, friends to many, have all the right clothes, gadgets, et cetera, you must be valuable and worth knowing. It’s so easy to get sucked into this trending world view and social media isn’t helping.
I worked with a guy a few years ago who would often say, “Why would you ever be friends with anyone who didn’t come with benefits” He has the tendance to seek out friendships with people who have vacations homes in Lake Como, Italy or private jets that they would offer up for their friends to use.
But who does God says are blessed. The Sermon on The Mount reminds us that it’s not the celebrities and the uber popular that inherit the earth, right? Well, they can but it’s not a person’s worldly status but their posture that makes them blessed. It’s the meek, the poor in spirit, or in other words the not so popular, powerful, or favored people in the world today.
When we play favorites, we have the tendance to forgive the transgressions or make light of the offenses of those we favor. Like my parents with my brother who thought he could do no wrong. Even when he did mess up, it was quickly forgiven or glossed over like it didn’t even happen.
If we can play favorites with our friends how much easier is it to transfer that practice to the Word of God and receive only those passages we feel are for us and maybe turn our eyes from the scriptures that are little tougher to swallow.
The command, “Love your neighbor as yourself” can start to be translated “love your neighbor as long as they come with a host of benefits like a pool our kids can swim in or an invitation to their popular backyard bbq’s”.
Or what about when it’s time to correct or uphold the Word of God, are we really going to correct our friend in love and truth and possibly risk losing an opportunity to vacation next to George Cloney in Lake Como?
As believers, we need to be that bridge of love that brings the world together and we can’t do that if our eyes are fixed on what the world can do for us over what the Lord can do in our lives.
Christ paid the ultimate price and did away with the ‘hierarchy of love‘. His death on the cross made it so that all who believed would be seen as Jesus. The same. No one person more important than another but all super duper valuable to God!
Aren’t you glad God doesn’t play favorites?! Aren’t you glad God see’s you and I the same, brothers and sisters in Christ, all one, all equal.
In reading this passage today I’ve been challenged to think, “What if God played favorites the way I sometimes do?” How can I be more Christ-like and love everyone the way He does, without partiality?
Friends, the Lord loves you very much. His love for you is unchangeable and never ending. And it’s out of that same love, we have been gifted with the ability to love others. Let’s be women who see the benefit of Jesus in everyone we meet over anything they can do for us.
Lord, thank you that you don’t play favorites. Thank you that you love all your children the same and a whole lot. May we be women who walk in the same manner, loving others as you have first loved us. Lord, may we read your Word and receive it all as the divine breath of God. Amen.