Dear children, let's not merely say that we love each other; let us show the truth by our actions. 1 John 3:18
The Oxford Dictionary defines favoritism as "the practice of giving unfair preferential treatment to one person or group at the expense of another." As I read that definition, the phrase that stuck out was "at the expense of another." You see, when favoritism strikes, someone always loses. Someone is always impacted negatively. You know how it feels to be chosen last, to be someone's second choice. It hurts, doesn't it? Today, as we continue our study in 1 John 3, we are going to talk about favoritism and discover the fact that godly love does not show favoritism. There is no room for favoritism in Christlike love.
In the book of 1 John, John expresses the importance of genuine love, which has no room for favoritism. He writes, "Let's not merely say that we love each other; let us show the truth by our actions" (verse 18). Part of this genuine love, proven by actions, is not showing favoritism. You see, if we claim to have a love for all people, but show favoritism in our actions, that love is not genuine. Genuine love for people does not have favorites.
In the book of Romans, the apostle Paul teaches us that we are not to show favoritism because "God does not show favoritism" (Romans 2:11). As His followers, we are to refuse, like Him, to let favoritism show up in our lives. This includes judging and loving people based on how they look, their status, or anything else. We are to love people because God Himself demonstrated such great love for us. He did not show favoritism toward us, so how can we show favoritism to others?
My friend, there is no partiality with God. This means that there is no room for favoritism in our lives, either. We are to be people who see and love every person simply because they are created in the very image of God. Resolve today to reject and release any favoritism in your life.
Today, take time to journal about our discussion and reading of 1 John 3. Have you been showing favoritism? Are you showing true, genuine love to everyone you come in contact with? What steps can you take today to fight against favoritism in your own life.
Read Romans 2:1-11 (NLT)
You may think you can condemn such people, but you are just as bad, and you have no excuse! When you say they are wicked and should be punished, you are condemning yourself, for you who judge others do these very same things. And we know that God, in his justice, will punish anyone who does such things. Since you judge others for doing these things, why do you think you can avoid God’s judgment when you do the same things? Don’t you see how wonderfully kind, tolerant, and patient God is with you? Does this mean nothing to you? Can’t you see that his kindness is intended to turn you from your sin?
But because you are stubborn and refuse to turn from your sin, you are storing up terrible punishment for yourself. For a day of anger is coming, when God’s righteous judgment will be revealed. He will judge everyone according to what they have done. He will give eternal life to those who keep on doing good, seeking after the glory and honor and immortality that God offers. But he will pour out his anger and wrath on those who live for themselves, who refuse to obey the truth and instead live lives of wickedness. There will be trouble and calamity for everyone who keeps on doing what is evil—for the Jew first and also for the Gentile. But there will be glory and honor and peace from God for all who do good—for the Jew first and also for the Gentile. For God does not show favoritism.
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