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  • Writer's pictureJonathan George

Playing Favorites

Kids Bible Devotional for July 9, 2024

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Focus Verse

James 2:3-4 And you pay attention to the one wearing the fine clothes and say to him, “You sit here in a good place,” and say to the poor man, “You stand there,” or, “Sit here at my footstool,” have you not shown partiality among yourselves, and become judges with evil thoughts? (NKJV)

Jump Start

Pick your favorite. Chocolate or vanilla? Red or blue? Snow or sun?

We all have a favorite flavor, color, or season. We have lots of other preferences, too. Things we like and things we don’t like. These are the kinds of things that make us unique. But we can take our preferences too far such as when we give unfair preferential treatment to one person over another.

Have you ever been picked over for a game, or someone got something you really wanted that did not seem fair? How did that make you feel? Pretty yucky, I would guess.

We’re not here to talk about fairness, though. We’re here to talk about how showing favoritism is not what Jesus would do. John 3:16 says,

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

This means that the promise of salvation through Jesus Christ is for everyone, not just one group of people. God loved the world, including you and me. No favorites in God’s family. We all have access to the same promises of God.

Today's Devotion

Emma bounded into the living room. “Guess what, Mom?” she said, excitedly.

Her mother closed the book she had been reading. “What is it, dear?”

“I just got a text from Adalyn.  She’s invited me to go swimming at her house this Saturday. Can I go?”

“Wait,” Mom said. “Isn’t Lily’s birthday party this Saturday?”

Emma lowered her head. “Yes, but I really want to go to Adalyn’s. She has a swimming pool, a tennis court, and a game room. She lives in that big house up on Sycamore. My friends at school say it is gorgeous inside. Besides, Lily is just having cake at her house. It’s no big deal.”

“By ’no big deal,’ you mean because her mother can’t afford anything nicer?” Mom asked.

“Come on, Mom. I didn’t mean it that way. I can go over to Lily’s any time, but Adalyn doesn’t just invite anybody over to her house. That’s a big deal.”

“Let me get this straight,” Mother took off her reading glasses. “You would rather spend time with a girl you barely know than with a friend you’ve known since kindergarten because she lives in a fancy house?”

“It’s not like that,” Emma protested.

“I think it’s very much like that. Judging from the bright shade of red on your cheeks, I’d say I hit the nail on the head.” Mom set the book on the counter next to her. “I’m getting the feeling that you think having money makes you a better person. Is Adalyn a Christian?”

“I don’t know. But I can witness to her.”

“You can and you should,” Mom said. “But I suspect that leading her to the Lord was the furthest thing from your mind. My guess is you thought about what you can get out of this friendship with Adalyn more than how it might make Lily feel when you blow off her party. That’s called favoritism. Imagine if Jesus showed favoritism after He died on the cross. Would you be among His favorites to receive His grace?”

“So are you saying I shouldn’t be friends with Adalyn because she’s rich?” Emma said.

“No, I’m saying you should not build a friendship based on selfish reasons, and you should not prefer one person at the expense of another, especially a dear friend like Lily.”

“You’re right,” Emma admitted. “I would hurt Lily’s feelings if I didn’t go to her party, and I don’t want to do that. I’ll text Adalyn back and let her know that I have plans this weekend.”

“Now, that is what I call a wise decision,” Mom said.

Wrap Up

When asking for grace, God does not prefer one person over another. Certainly, there will be people in our lives that hold a special place in our hearts, like our family and close friends. Even with God, He certainly gives favor to His sons and daughters in the family of God. However, God loves everyone, and He wants us to show everyone love, especially the love that comes from the Father.

It’s okay to have preferences with things but it’s not okay to discriminate against another person because of wealth, race, beliefs, differences, or other reasons. Often, we show partiality towards people due to selfish motives. What we think the person can do for us or to try to look cool.  

Aren’t you glad God does not play favorites?

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