When I was eight years old, my mother had a baby. When Mom came through the door with her precious little one, everyone expressed delight over this magnificent creature she held in her arms.
She laid Sherry in the bassinet. I crept up to the side and peered over. The neighbor from upstairs had come down to see the new baby, and she said, “Oh, honey, she looks just like you!”
My response? I ran from the room screaming. How could she think I looked like that tiny red, wrinkled thing?
For the next few months, I suffered intense envy of my little sister. She seemed to get all of Mommy’s attention. I didn’t know the word ‘favoritism’ at the time, but I certainly knew how to scream, “You love Sherry the best.”
Sometimes it’s tempting to think God must love certain people more than others. After all, some prosper in a seemingly effortless way while others struggle on a daily basis.
Jesus addressed this assumption when He spoke of His great love for us. “That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust” (Matthew 5:45).
God does not show favoritism. I’m thankful He doesn’t. He loves everyone from the dewy innocence of a newborn to the hardened criminal. God chose to save all who will accept Him through the sacrifice of His only-born Son, Jesus Christ.
One of Jesus’ disciples, Peter, had a difficult time comprehending this concept. A devout Jew, He did not think Gentiles worthy of God’s grace, or that God’s plan of salvation included the Gentiles.
God sent Cornelius, a Roman centurion, to inform Peter that His plan included all people, both Jews and Gentiles. Peter had been taught that it was unlawful for him, a Jewish man, to keep company with Gentiles, but God showed him first through a vision, and then through Cornelius, that he should not call any man common or unclean. In Acts 10:34, we read where Peter preached a sermon based on his revelation. “Then Peter opened his mouth and said: "In truth I perceive that God shows no partiality.”
At times, we are all guilty of showing favoritism. We tend to gravitate toward those who are similar to us in age, race, or economic standing. Let’s strive to love as God loves. No one can cry, “Father loves me best!” He loves us all. Each one of us is His favorite.
Twenty years after the birth of my sibling, I faced the same dilemma my mom experienced when I brought my second-born child home. How do you explain to a child the capacity to love without favoritism? I seized the opportunity, just as my mother did, to explain God’s love to my daughter.
Soon after my mother brought Sherry home, I realized I had my very own live baby doll to play with. As Sherry grew, who taught her to say her first words? Guess who showed her how to crawl, and eventually how to walk? Why, her loving big sister, of course!
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