I was reminded of this yesterday when talking with a client.
From December 4, 2008 at 10:39am
I commented to a friend once that, growing up, I never felt like my parents played favorites. I always felt that they consistently loved each of us kids and weren’t partial to any of us. (I could insert a funny comment about them loving me more than my sister. . .but I will refrain. LOL). My friend was surprised, seemingly, to hear that given her experiences in her family.
I’ve been thinking more about that in light of my relationship with God. Sometimes I feel like I am God’s favorite child just because He loves so much and has taken care of me at every turn, through every trial, and with every problem (both those self-caused and those not). I see His blessings on my life and know He watches over me.
What’s so amazing is that despite this great amount of love I feel from Him. . .I’m not His favorite. His love is so immense and greatly shown to each of us individually that we are in sensory overload as we consider the vastness of His love. Yet, I’m still not His favorite.
I’ve been reading I Peter chapter one this week. Verse 17 says (NLT) “And remember that the heavenly Father to whom you pray has no favorites when he judges.” As I read that this week, and considered His great love for me, I realized that He does love me immensely but He loves all His children that way (. . .even those with whom I disagree).
The benefit of not being the favorite, yet having God’s immense support of love, is that I’m not let off the hook for another part of I Peter 1 found in verse 15: “But now you must be holy in everything you do, just as God — who chose you to be his children — is holy.” I’m not allowed to only have the benefits of His love and then do what I want that is contrary to His character.
Just as my parents didn’t seem to have favorites, they also required the same of each child. In God’s immense love for us, He wants us to be holy for this reason: without the distraction of sin and other inconsistencies in our lives, we can receive His love more fully and be able to love Him in the relationship that He desires to have with us.
God’s immense love for us and the charge to be holy together are a call to continually develop and enhance our relationship with Him. The purpose of the relationship is not to be the favorite but be fully what we were created to be: someone fulfilled in loving the Creator and be loved by Him.