Monday, December 1, 2014

On Favoritism

I don't think anyone realizes how much favoritism hurts, until you're on the wrong side of it.  I've been on both sides of it.  I've been the favorite and I've been the forgotten.  My children have been the favorites at times, and they've also been the forgotten.  I've also unwittingly shown favoritism, though now I realize how awful it is. 

Let's go back to my gymnastics coaching days.  There was a little girl who was lovable and cute with a warm personality.  Everyone doted on her.  She got lots of hugs from me.  While there was another little girl who had more of a reserved personality.  I didn't hug her.  Later, I overheard her mom expressing, "Why doesn't my daughter get any hugs?"  Yes, I was a teenager.  And, I endeavored to be more fair after that.  For my part, I didn't really know that the other girl wanted any hugs, but no matter... favoritism hurts, whether we know it or not. 

I also was a normal teenage girl in that I loved snatching a baby before or after church and toting him/her around.  Babies are like living dolls, only they cry and coo better than dolls.  Yes, I had a favorite baby and favorite toddlers.  (They had special nicknames for me and would take me if they couldn't have Mommy - teenage heart melting...)  I showed favoritism. 

Fast forward.  I once walked in the church foyer with our two girlies (at the time) and no one said a word.  (This is fine with me.)  However, then, another child entered and there was a huge to-do.  It was the blaring contrast that caught my attention and grieved me.  I don't think our children noticed and I sure wasn't going to point it out to them.  They didn't need the attention.  It was the favoritism that bothered me. 

I was chatting with another mom and found that her heart hurt her when she saw her children on the wrong side of favoritism.  How can this be so in the church?!

Do you remember the story of Jacob and Leah?  The fact that God hates favoritism is plain to me.  Jacob loved Rachel better.  Yes, that was the wife he actually wanted.  He never wanted to marry Leah in the first place, but God expected him to act fairly and nobly even then.  Leah doesn't even sound like she had a nice personality (she was mean to Rachel!)  And what kind of woman would go along with a scheme like tricking a man out of the wife he wanted?!?!  Yet, God wouldn't let Jacob get away with favoritism.

Just because someone is cuter,
in a better (or worse) family situation,
more accepting to love,
wears trendier clothes...
you fill in the blank....
doesn't mean that it is ok to favor them. 

And, a child is a someone, as much as an adult is a someone.