Here is a guest article from Mandy Sweigart-Quinn. Mandy is known as the Blue Collar Theologian (www.bluecollartheologian.blog)! She loves Jesus, His Word and encouraging His people! In May 2019 she graduated from Capital Seminary and Graduate School with a MA in Biblical Studies and is now pursuing a PhD in Biblical Studies from Capital.
Does God show favoritism?
One of the greatest lies the enemy loves to heave at me is that I am not doing enough, I am not good enough and that God likes/loves everyone more than me. I know that is a lie and yet I allow it to render me completely ineffective and useless. It steals my joy, it paralyzes my walk with God and leads me to fear being replaced. I know that God is no respecter of persons, meaning he does not show partiality or favoritism but what exactly does that mean?!
In Hebrew (OT) the expression of not showing favoritism “refers literally to ‘the lifting up the face of another person,’ while in Greek (NT) the expression means to ‘receive the face’ of someone or to accept his or her external appearance as the real thing and to make an evaluation on that basis” (Baker Encyclopedia of the Bible, p. 1839). In both the OT and NT God is impartial and without prejudice and His people should be/do the same.
This has me questioning my own motives. To whom am I showing favoritism or worse yet, who am I undervaluing based on appearances and/or differences? As much as I fear being replaced by God, this also translates to my relationships with people. I have always been concerned that I will be replaced or second best. Who in my path and yours as well knows that we favor someone else over them?
James 2 admonishes us to not show favoritism because God does not show favoritism. James’s message affirms me in that God will not replace me that He will deal with me and reward me as He sees fit; yet, my behavior in certain instances does not match the obedience God requires.
Peter in Acts 10:34 stressed that God shows no favoritism. Peter’s vision led him to the conclusion that God does not discriminate! There are no divisions between “clean” and “unclean” people from God’s Sovereign and Divine perspective. God does discriminate between acceptable and unacceptable behaviors but He NEVER discriminates on the basis of race or ethnic background. Believers who revere God and practice what is right are acceptable to Him (10:35).
Father God, it is so easy to believe lies that say we are not good enough, that we will be replaced or that You disapprove of us. Lord God, it is easy to spend time with and look favorably on people who are most like us. Lord God, I ask that You help us to be a people who are secure and confident in our identity and position in You. Lord God, thank You for Your grace and mercy! Thank You that You meet with us and convict us personally! Lord God, reveal our hearts to us. Where are we showing favoritism in ways that are not from You? Teach us Lord to be more like Jesus and it is in His Name I pray, Amen.