May 13, 2017

Break Free of Favoritism

Malachi 2:7-9

I have caused you to be despised and humiliated before all the people, because you have not followed my ways but have shown partiality in matters of the law.

—  Malachi 2:9

God does not play favorites. The priests in Malachi’s time did. Back then, religious laws had a role in governing people, and a priest’s viewpoint could influence public opinion about someone.

Favoritism has three victims: (1) People who are not ­favored are given a lower place in society than they deserve. (2) People who are favored shrink spiritually, becoming proud and selfish. They aren’t missed when they’re gone. (3) People who play favorites begin to be viewed with suspicion. They become despised and humiliated, as our verse states. After a time all three types begin to feel stuck where they are. The un-favored just can’t get ahead. The favored become enslaved to their own desires, and sometimes burdened with a sense of owing those who favored them. And those showing favoritism begin to see their self-worth in terms of what they can provide to other influential people.

Thankfully God’s grace puts a surprising end to the notion of playing favorites. God does not play favorites; yet, through Jesus, God’s favor is available to anyone who wants it. The favor of God is eternal life and peace. It shows up the favors of this world as silly and worthless.

If you want to receive God’s ­favor in your life, please pray this prayer: Dear Jesus, I renounce all the favors of this world. Please forgive me and save me from my sins. I want to live for you alone from now on. In your name I pray. Amen.

About the author — Scott DeVries

Scott DeVries has served as a church pastor and as a ministry ­coordinator in the Holland, Michigan, area. He currently works at ­facilitating connections between the more than twenty ministries and 1,100 churches of the Christian Reformed Church in North America. He has a passion for prayer, church organization, and studying the Scriptures in their original languages.

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