Playing Favorites


margaretWritten by: Margaret Connolly

Several years back I watched an episode of The Andersen Cooper show where he discussed the idea of parents having a favorite child. There were guests on the show (with their children!) who openly and unashamedly declared that they had preference for one of their children over another.

I was aghast. I couldn’t even believe this was real. I mean, okay, I know there are a lot of shocking things happening in the world around us all the time, but for a mother to sit there and say that she prefers one of her children to another was just shocking to me. How hurtful. How sad. How damaging. How unfortunate that she couldn’t recognize the beauty and wonder in each of her children. The qualities that made them unique, made them special, made them so worth her undivided love and devotion.

Now, let’s be real. I get that some of our precious blessings are easier to love than others. Believe me, I so get this! I have one kid so much like me it drives mad, and another so much like her Dad that it drives us both mad. Add another kid in there who’s still kind of a question mark to us, and well, you get the idea. There are many moments where I find myself thinking about one or more of my daughters: ‘Ahh! Why can’t she be more like her sister?! Why does she have to do *this* or *that*?!’

But, if she was more like her sister, she’d be less like her. She’d not be the complete version of herself that God has fearfully and wonderfully created. With all the quirks, all the character, all the love and heart that makes her just who she is.

The Bible has umpteen stories about people who didn’t seem particularly loveable. Or, who made really really really poor choices. And yet, in amongst many of those stories we see how God used these people for His purposes and plan (Jacob, Samson, Jonah, Peter and the list goes on!) Despite all the troubles, and character flaws and major mistakes, they were used by the most high God. This gives me such confidence in knowing that God sees each of us just where we are, and as just who He made us to be … and we are all His favorites! His love is multiplied across the nations, generations and ages.

Let’s take it one step further … we all know those people, or that person .. the one(s) that are so much harder to love than others. They are definitely not our favorite. They irk us, annoy us, irritate us, anger us even. The thing is – God loves that person just as much as you .. that person is His favorite too. God sees in that person the most wonderful things that you don’t. He looks at that person and He sees hope, and promise, potential, giftings, uniqueness, and He loves and extends grace to that person as much as He does for the rest of us. I don’t know about you, but that is a humbling thought for me. As I reflected on this I thought of us all through the lens of our Creator. We are all his kids, we are all His special beloved amazing creations.

Believe me, I need this reminder just as much as the next person – but let’s try to remember this the next time we are finding it particularly hard to love on *that* person.