“You always let Marcie do whatever she wants! You make me sick!” Janice yelled.
“Janice, I will not be talked to that way,” Janice’s mother calmly replied. “Sit down, please.”
Janice slowly took a seat at the dining table, a loud sigh expelling from her lungs.
“As much as you may want to believe that I am partial to your older sister, I can assure you that nothing could be further from the truth. You and your sister are more than just my daughters. You are both God’s children as well. And do you believe God loves one of you more that the other?”
“No, but I think you do?”
“So you think I would willingly disobey God?”
“Huh?” Janice scrunched her nose in confusion. “I didn’t accuse you of disobeying anyone?”
“Janice, if you are saying that I am showing favoritism towards Marcie than you are indeed accusing me of directly disobeying the Lord.”
“In James’ letter to the twelve tribes of Israel he specifically points out that Jesus wants His followers to show no favoritism when dealing with others.”
“He does?” Janice seemed genuinely interested in her mother’s claim.
“Here, let me get my Bible.” Within seconds Janice’s mother had returned and began reading the passage from James 2:1-4, "My brothers, as believers in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ, don’t show favoritism. Suppose a man comes into your meeting wearing a gold ring and fine clothes, and a poor man in shabby clothes also comes in. If you show special attention to the man wearing fine clothes and say, “Here's a good seat for you,” but say to the poor man, “You stand there” or “Sit on the floor by my feet,” have you not discriminated among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts?”
Janice gently took the Bible from her mother’s hands and read the words again. She knew her mother did her best to follow the teachings found in the book she now held. “I suppose you are going to tell me there are other places in here that condemn favoritism?”
“Of course. Take a look at Acts 10:34-35.”
Janice read the words aloud, “Then Peter began to speak: “I now realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism but accepts men from every nation who fear him and do what is right.”
“First Timothy 5:21”
She flipped through the pages of the New International Version Study Bible until she came to the verses her mother had just announced, Janice’s anger and frustration melting away. “I charge you, in the sight of God and Christ Jesus and the elect angels, to keep these instructions without partiality, and to do nothing out of favoritism.” Janice looked up from the Bible into her mother’s eyes, now full of tears.
“I memorized those verses long before I decided to become a mother. Janice, you and Marcie have two completely different personalities. I may handle our disagreements in different ways because every situation is a little different, but I want you to know that I love you both unconditionally, the same way the Lord loves you. It breaks my heart to hear you say that I favor Marcie over you. You are both God’s children. He’s just letting me watch over you for a short time, and I know He doesn’t give us more than we can handle.”
“I’m sorry, Mom.” Janice gently set the Bible down on the dining table and hugged her mother. “It’s not easy being a teenager, Mom.”
“Yes...I know,” she replied, looking over her daughter’s shoulder and at the book that had made moments like this possible. She couldn’t imagine life without it.
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