Playing Favorites, Missing Out

Favorites. We mesh with some people like puzzle pieces snapping into place. Seamless. Easy. Click. 

Others jar us, grate our rough edges, and stretch our patience. Uncomfortable. Difficult. Scraaape. 

The apostle James gives no quarter, “My brothers and sisters, believers in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ must not show favoritism . . . If you really keep the royal law found in Scripture, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself,’ you are doing right. But if you show favoritism, you sin . . .” James 2:1, 8-9 NIV

“Neighbor” extends to everyone as Jesus demonstrated in the story of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:25-39). Every person has value because they were created in the image of God (Gen. 1:27). Yet sometimes I’m guilty of assigning value to baser things. Do they like me? What do we have in common? What can they do for me?

I see this in families too. I have four kids: boy, boy, girl, boy. Our youngest had a strong draw to his older brothers. His sister? He didn’t connect with her until late high school and college—and he missed out. His sister is a gem he’s only recently discovered.

How many times have I missed out on the treasure of a person who was invisible to me—or just required more work than I was willing to give? Too often.

How about you? Do you have favorites? What’s the draw? And who have you missed in the process? At home, at school or work, at church?

Practice the royal law of love like James says:

1. This week, choose someone with whom you wouldn’t necessarily connect.

2. Reach out to them this week. 

3. Look for ways to give to them. 

4. Keep track of what God shows you. 

By all means, treasure those special friends and family God has placed in your life. At the same time, acknowledge the “neighbors” you encounter this week and see what you’ve been missing. 

Who is invisible to you? Are you invisible to others? Why?