Sunday Scripture — Favoritism

by Sandy Kirby Quandt

Favoritism:  the unfair practice of treating some people better than others.

Living in the suburbs of Washington, D.C. in the 1960s I saw favoritism expressed on many levels and in many situations, but the one example of favoritism I’d like to talk about today occurred at a toy store where my mother worked.

In the days before mega toy stores, this toy store was unique. I loved walking through the aisles of the small store oohing and ahhing over all the toys on the shelves, counting my change, and calculating how long it would take to afford what I had my eye on.

One VERY prominent family with political ties lived close to the store. (And no. I won’t tell you who, so don’t ask.) About once a week the mother brought her daughter and sons into the store. This might seem like a good thing, however, to my way of thinking it wasn’t.

For about an hour, the elementary and younger aged children were allowed to run freely  and ransack the place. I watched their frenzy in horror during one of my visits to the store. They tore open packages, played with whatever suited their fancy at the time, left toys strewn all over the floor, and raced through the aisles chasing each other on tricycles.

All the while their mother occupied herself with other matters. She may have purchased something before she left, but as far as I know she never did.

Okay. From the caps I’ve used, you can tell I’m still rather upset over this blatant show of favoritism by the store’s owner to allow this behavior to continue without a word of reprimand, or showing the family the door. 🙂

You want to know why? Several reasons, I believe.

One, if I or anyone else came into the store and acted like this, boy howdy.

Two, my mother was one of the ones whose job it was to come behind and clean up the mess, restock shelves, and tape packaging back together.

Three, the owner ate the loss in broken toys which had a trickle down effect on the employees and on the price of the toys he stocked.

The Bible warns us against showing favoritism; treating some people better than others, but you know what? I think if we’re truly honest with ourselves, we’ve all been guilty of doing exactly that. I know I have. Maybe that’s why God keeps this memory from fifty years ago so fresh in my mind as a reminder to watch that I don’t treat some better than others.

Something to cogitate on, don’t you think? Maybe showing favoritism isn’t a problem for you, but if it is, how do you guard against it?

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My friends, as believers in our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, you must never treat people in different ways according to their outward appearance. Suppose a rich man wearing a gold ring and fine clothes comes to your meeting, and a poor man in ragged clothes also comes. If you show more respect to the well-dressed man and say to him, “Have this best seat here,” but say to the poor man, “Stand over there, or sit here on the floor by my feet,” then you are guilty of creating distinctions among yourselves and of making judgments based on evil motives … You will be doing the right thing if you obey the law of the Kingdom, which is found in the scripture, “Love your neighbor as you love yourself.” But if you treat people according to their outward appearance, you are guilty of sin, and the Law condemns you as a lawbreaker. Whoever breaks one commandment is guilty of breaking them all. James 2:1-4; 8-10 (GNT)

I wish you well,


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