Does God play favorites?

Renee Ann Smith —  June 9, 2014 — 8 Comments

Did you ever feel like God was playing favorites & you were being purposely left out?

Have you ever looked around at what others received—maybe things you desperately wanted from God—and wondered why He said ‘yes’ to them and ‘no’ to you?

When Jesus was on earth, He fielded such questions. I’m thinking specifically of His time with two sisters, Martha and Mary, and their story in John 11.

These sisters knew Jesus well. They served Him often and sat at His feet. He considered their home, His home.

But when their darkest hour came—the death of their brother Lazarus, their provider and protector—they called for Jesus, and He did not come.

Does God play favorites

In fact, He delayed His coming until He knew Lazarus was dead.

When Jesus did arrive, both sisters uttered the same lament: “Lord, if you had been here my brother would not have died.” (John 11:21 & 32)

Two sisters, so close to each other, experienced the same tragedy, felt the same grief, and expressed the same doubt in the same exact words.

And Jesus responded to each differently

With Martha, the practical one, He pointed her eyes toward eternity and the true resurrection. And I can’t help but wonder if she needed a lesson in the midst of her tragedy because she’d missed a time or two at Jesus’ feet.

With Mary, the dreamer, He said nothing. Perhaps she’d been sitting at His feet for so long that He knew His words were hidden in her heart to comfort and teach her.

Yet, even though Mary had sat often at Jesus’ feet, soaking in His words, and had been commended for her choice, her relationship with Him did not ward off tragedy. Jesus did not show favoritism. Mary still had to experience hard things.

So Jesus treated each sister differently—not from favoritism—but because He knew them.

Does God play favorites Psalm 139

  • He knew their heart needs.
  • He knew the attitudes behind their words.
  • He knew they must soon face life without His physical presence.
  • He knew they must be prepared for other days when it might seem He refused to come when they called.

From that perfect knowing, Jesus chose what gift to give each precious child.

Just so, our heavenly Father knows what’s best for us. And we can be confident that’s exactly what He’ll give!

Thanks for coming by to visit today. Blessings, friends!

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“Every good & perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of Lights. ~James 1:17~

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“Search me, O God & know my heart. Try me & know my anxious thoughts.” ~Psalm 139:23~

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Did you ever feel like God was playing favorites & you were being purposely left out?

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Renee Ann Smith

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I teach literature in a Christian high school by day and write inspirational fiction by night. I love to share heart-touching quotes and stories here on my blog. So glad you stopped by!

8 responses to Does God play favorites?

  1. I love this story!! I also loved how you shared how Jesus knows our anxious thoughts. Nice graphics that expressed so well what you are sharing.

    It was nice stopping by your blog again.

  2. Love that word…seems to…how easy it is to slip into believing the lies. What a struggle we can have to change those thought patterns. He always is totally with us and totally aware of what we are experiencing and thinking. Like a tender hearted friend He comes with a touch or draped arm around our shoulders inviting, Come,be with me.

  3. What a beautiful way to put it. Thank you for this Renee. I’m definitely more of the practical one.

  4. I’ve always had a soft spot for Martha, because like Thomas, she is remembered for one thing. But you know what? She went OUT to Jesus, as opposed to waiting in the house for Him. And Martha went BACK to her and encouraged her to seek out Jesus. Not such a bad series of actions.

    Yep, you can probably tell I’m less like Mary than Martha.

    A good post, with an excellent point — Jesus responds differently to each one of us, based upon the differences that are a part of who we are.

  5. Thank you for the reminder to be content with what we have and where we are in life. Gorgeous graphics, as always :)

  6. Beautifully said, Renee Ann! I got goose(God?) bumps when I read the line about Jesus not playing favorites but relating to each of us differently because He KNOWS us. Thanks for sharing these wonderful words over at #EverydayJesus. Blessings to you!

  7. Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts here, ladies! I appreciate your encouragement. Blessings!

  8. Your graphics are just beautiful!! Thanks for sharing this post. I pinned it!!

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