Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Favoritism (02/28/05)
TITLE: Setting Apart or Discrimination?
By Delores McCarter
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ADD TO MY FAVORITES
If the opportunity to be held in special favor is equally accessible to anyone, I believe that there is nothing wrong with favoritism. There are times when special favor is warranted, especially for those who are obedient to the call and serve others. This favor or recognition may come in the form of award ceremonies, monetary bonuses, as well as special advantages and opportunities.
However, there are also instances when special favor is not warranted, yet it is granted anyway.
I call this “blind favor” because it is not earned based on one’s effort, but on their position, race, gender, or economic status. Blind favor reigns traditionally in many of our cultures and continues to be practiced today.
Some of these practices can cause low self-esteem, jealousy, and friction within an individual or an organization. For example, our society has experienced many problems with the issue of racism, setting apart an ethnic group as superior. We also continue to experience problems with the issue of gender bias. Instead of seeing men and women as an equal gender, many cultures regard the male gender as superior than their female counterpart.
I truly believe that God grants everyone the opportunity to serve Him. It is up to us to decide whether we will serve God or not. Cain and Abel had the same opportunity to serve God. When it came time for their offering, Abel rose to excellence and Cain fell short. God spoke with Cain about his lacking performance, advising Cain that if he did well, he would have been accepted. God also warned him about sin (Genesis 4:6, NKJV), but Cain disobeyed God and killed his brother Abel (Genesis 4:8, NKJV).
It took many generations after Cain and Abel for God to find someone that he could use. I think this is why the genealogy (the begats) is so important for us to understand. In the story of Noah, there was a great wickedness upon the earth. Noah found grace in God because he was a just man, perfect in his generations, and walked with God (Genesis 6:8-9, NKJV). Noah was used by God to build the ark and save mankind through his family. Unfortunately, after the flood, Noah became an alcoholic and God needed to find someone else.
When Abram stepped up to the plate, God blessed him mightily. Abram (later renamed Abraham) was highly favored by God (Genesis 12:2-3; 13:14-17, NKJV) and named the “Father of many nations.” (Genesis 17:4-6; Romans 4:16-17, NKJV). In addition, Sarah was named the “Mother of many nations,” despite the fact that she was old and barren. God fufilled his promise when Sarah conceived and bore a son named Isaac (Genesis 21:2-3, NKJV).
Generations later, a young boy named Joseph was abandoned by his brothers and sold as a slave. However, despite his background he became a blessed man. The Lord blessed Joseph with success and he found favor with the King (Genesis 39:2-5, NKJV).
Many years later, Saul was chosen to serve God, but he disobeyed God and lost his kingdom. Saul was replaced by David, who God called “a man after His own heart” (I Samuel 13:13-14, NKJV).
We observe throughout history, how God gives people the opportunity to serve Him. He sets apart those who are obedient to His will and grants them favor. God still gives us the opportunity to serve Him today. He gave His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, to die for our sins (John 3:16-17, NKJV) to show us that He loves his people, and holds them in special favor. That is the best example of “favoritism” for me.
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