Although the Bible tells us God doesn’t show favoritism, and neither should we, I wonder. Are there times in our lives where we have shown favoritism?
I’m guessing the answer is yes. In those times when we’ve behaved in such a way, would we have to admit by doing so, we pushed someone further away from God by our actions than we moved them closer to him?
Sadly, I know that to be true for me.
One particular episode comes to mind. I can’t say for sure how old I was at the time. Probably somewhere in early high school. It was summer. As my girlfriends and I came from Sunday school into the church sanctuary, I noticed a girl I recognized from school.
We weren’t friends, or anything. We’d only seen each other in the halls. Or maybe we had a class together. She was kind of on the periphery. Not really involved in the things I was involved with. Still, when she recognized me her face lit up as she said hello.
She was by herself, which I thought odd and brave at the same time. What teenage girl goes to a new church by herself? When she approached, I knew I couldn’t just pretend I didn’t see her.
And here’s the thing. The thought to pretend I didn’t see her should have never entered my mind. I should have been eager to go say hello and invite her to sit with me. But I wasn’t.
The first thing she told me was, “I got baptized last week at Ocean City during a beach service. The preacher told me I should come to this church when I got home.”
My first thought was, way cool getting baptized in the ocean. My second thought was, only hippies get baptized in the ocean.
See the problem?
Like Peter, I had per-conceived thoughts and ideas – prejudices – about what was clean and unclean. What was right and not right. What saved a person and what didn’t.
So very very wrong.
God doesn’t put these kind of human parameters on who can be saved and who can’t. God doesn’t show favoritism. God treats everyone on the same basis. We are all sinners in need of a Savior, and Jesus is the answer.
I wish my friends and I had behaved more Christ-like. We were polite. We invited her to sit with us that day, but really didn’t invite her into our circle. She may have returned once or twice more. After that, I never saw her again. Who could blame her?
Why should she want to come back to a group of hypocritical girls who sang about loving Jesus, yet never exhibited the love of Jesus?
Girls who long ago accepted Christ as their Savior yet didn’t know how to share in the excitement and enthusiasm of a newly saved life.
How very very sad.
Retelling this to you all makes me feel like I failed this girl in so many ways. But you know what? Thanks be to God, my witness, or lack of, was not the only exposure she had to the love of Christ.
Someone on a beach in eastern Maryland during the 1970s loved God and loved people enough to preach the message of the Good News of Jesus Christ to a group of beach goers. That group included a high school girl who accepted Jesus as her Savior.
I pray God brought her to a group of people who showed her the true love of Jesus. A group of believers who accepted her as a child of God. Believers who know for certain God doesn’t show favoritism even when we do.
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Peter said, “Now I know for certain that God doesn’t show favoritism with people but treats everyone on the same basis. It makes no difference what race of people one belongs to. If they show deep reverence for God, and are committed to doing what’s right, they are acceptable before him. Acts 10:34-35 (TPT)
You can find my January Inspire a Fire post here. Please stop by and read it.
I wish you well.
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