Without Fear or Favor

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As we sat eye to eye on our first encounter, I could tell I wasn’t going to like her


Muscular in her school jersey, she just had the look of an athlete. 


I smoothed my skirt and reached for a Kleenex with which to dab my moist eyes.


Obviously, passion meant nothing to her. And my passion was “for God”.


She continued to stare at me stoically.


I picked up my leopard purse to signal closure and forced a dry smile.


As Amanda slung her backpack over her shoulder, she jerked her head with a quick nod.


“Welcome to our team,” I lied. “I look forward to supervising you.”


Over the next two years, I learned a very ugly truth about myself


I have a tendency toward partiality and no amount of make-up or animal print would hide what the Father had to say about it:


If you show partiality, you are committing sin” (James 2:9). 


There it was – in black and white.


In the next several months, I grew to understand that partiality exists because:


I see something in another that already resembles me

I see something in another that I want them to give me

I see something in another that I want to resemble


Partiality is self-driven. It’s all about “me”. (Ouch!)


How about you?


You are at a gathering where you know very few people. Who do you gravitate toward? Those who share your same interest.


Okay, that doesn’t sound so bad….How about this one….


You are at home with your children. Who do you gravitate toward? Those who are easiest for you to deal with.


Why? Could it possibly be:


  • Self-comfort?
  • Self-interest?
  • Self-indulgence?


Are we partial to others by what they can offer to us or worse yet – what they mirror of us?


We know very well that God should be the object of our glory, yet when we favor one individual over another, we give them the honor meant for God alone. Worshipping someone other than Him is getting pretty close to idolatry, wouldn’t you say?


Let’s bring it closer to home – partiality between our own children is especially dangerous. It not only hurts the overlooked child, it also ends up eventually injuring the favored one. Both the neglected and the favored learn how to “do unto others” just as it has been done to them. 


Not the lessons we were hoping for, huh?


Seeing our own image within our children can skew our parenting. But it can also drive us to prayer.


Sometimes, our natural bent is to be harder on the child that shares our sin. At other times, we tend to reward our little protege as we glimpse our own reflection within them. Either way is prejudiced, both towards the sinner as well as to obedient.


So what’s to be done about our bent toward partiality?


And what happened with Amanda?


Yeah, that’s a post for another day…..


In the meantime, when do you struggle most with partiality?