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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Favoritism (02/28/05)

TITLE: E-X-P-A-N-D Our Universe!
By Kathy Ellis
03/06/05


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Remembering my kids when they were little is really fun. Of course, they are grown now and so we can laugh at things which were once not so funny.

Accusations flew out of them at times. “You ALWAYS let him do whatever he wants to do.” “She ALWAYS gets new stuff.” “You love him more.” “You love her more.”

Believing one is the center of the universe is part and parcel of being a child. Or so I think. In my experience, it is the rare child that thinks of others before thinking of their own self. Where siblings are concerned, it is not unusual for each to feel that the other is shown partiality at one time or another.

To tell the truth, as a parent, my feelings would fluctuate from one to the other depending on their behavior and attitude. Their efforts to gain attention would result in either my praise or displeasure. But the love never varied. It still doesn’t. My love for my children is not dependent upon what they do. I love them because they are mine. It is akin to the agape love that Christ has for us.

However, just as a child can be shown partiality at times by a parent, the Lord also will show favor to His children.

As His children, how do we receive His favor?

Mary, mother of Jesus, was highly favored of God. David was a man after God’s own heart. Abraham became the ‘friend of God’. How did they gain this status? Enoch pleased God so much, he was taken up to heaven and never died a mortal death. How can we merit such positive attention from our Lord?

Simple answer. Stop being self centered. Do what these Bible heroes did. Walk with God. Leviticus 26: 3, 9 (NIV) says “If you follow my decrees and are careful to obey my commands, .... I will look on you with favor and make you fruitful and increase your numbers, and I will keep my covenant with you.” Yet Romans 2: 11 (NIV) states “For God does not show favoritism.”

What is the meaning in this? At first glance, it appears to be a contradiction. We begin to complain like small children “You love her more. She gets everything!”

Receiving the favor of God requires something from us. It requires self examination and obedience to His word. Walking in daily obedience to God is the key to living in His favor.

The Lord does not contradict Himself. He loves us each equally because we are His. He created each one of us with careful planning and purpose. His love for His children is impartial and unbiased. Our actions can trigger His favor or displeasure but they can not affect His love for us.

So let's put some spandex into our self centered minds and E-X-P-A-N-D our universe! Make the Lord and His decrees its center. Let our lives revolve around Him.

Who knows! One day He may send a flaming chariot to pick us up!


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Phyllis Inniss 03/07/05
So many of us will be happy for a flaming chariot to pick us up. Good article with a clear message. Our pride in ourselves will fail us everytime.
Lynne Gaunt03/08/05
Ah, but it's not so simple to follow God's decrees is it? You have raised some interesting points, food for thought. Thanks for getting my gray matter in gear today. Nice entry.
Suzanne R03/09/05
Doesn't the world look different when we put God at the centre of our lives. But how come it is so hard?! Even the difficult-to-understand question of God showing favouritism to the obedient but not showing favouritism becomes irrelevant when we put Him at the centre. Thanks for the reminder to e-x-p-a-n-d my universe.
donna robinson03/10/05
I liked the way you started this story; getting the reader interested in the perspective from a parent's view and then easing into the more complicated subject of God. I felt connected all the way through.
Nancy Hardy03/12/05
Not being a parent, is it neat to 'hear' you speak of these universal commonalities that children/siblings have in growing up. In some homes the case of unfair favoritism is valid, but in the Family of God, He favors us uniquely, yet equally. Oh yeah, I definitely need to add some spandex to the waistband of my spiritual mindset. Great write! Nancy