Playing Kingdom Favorites
What's your favorite _____________?
We all have our preferences, our ideals, and what or whom we are partial to in this life. Yesterday, I preached on the need to realize that the act of favorites in the life of a disciple is actually contrary to the invitation of the Gospel.
"...believers in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ must not show favoritism." -James 2:1
The act of favoritism is a twisting of the inclusive invitation for all to receive Christ and on the command to love our neighbor as ourselves. I consider all the manners in which we can slight one another for not enabling God to use and work through each other a real act of favoring one of another. We must consider first how disqualified we all are when it comes to receiving the nod on our own merit to be adequate to receive God's approval. It only is received by his willingness to love us, redeem us, and not condemn us when we have stepped into faith in Christ.
Anything after that act that we may add or take away is a real challenge to remain humble but prudent. To be willing to see the work of God in each other is a real act of being obedient to the Lord while still bringing accountability and safeguards that protects and propagates the community of believers that we are all connected to. It's my opinion that we all stand to learn a great deal in how to not play favorites and how to not be quick to disqualify each other.
I wonder, do we throw hurdles in front of each other or do we help discern pathways that result in spiritual maturity? Are we seeking to keep people spiritually frustrated or spiritually developing? I have been in real corporate forms of church communities where a lot of superimposed conditions seemed to be the glass ceiling to one another's potential or availability to where God may grow others up in their gifting and calling. We need to take a hard look in the mirror if we are superimposing favorites or if we are being willing to trust God through the success' and failures that come with growth.
As I heard on the radio this morning of a story where parents of young children in daycare are dropping everything in life to bring their child a bottle because they can't learn how to use a cup or a drinking fountain. There is a disservice to the child if they can't grow past their failures and trials. I believe it is the same for each other in our growth in Christ.
We must love each other through the failures, the fears, and the trials. We mustn't play favorites with people who either are too closed off to share or not spiritually devoted enough to risk growth. If we see a fault line in each other, then let's pursue to love through it, not ignore or make excuses for its' presence to only have us be partial to how God may be calling them to service.
Let's not play Kingdom Favorites with a false lens that God doesn't carry for how he looks at us. We all area called, and the qualifications come from a broken and contrite heart willing to serve, grow, and obey the Lord in all areas. May we seek to be that kind of favored one of God.
Keep looking Up!