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Playing Favorites – Teen Tuesday

You probably already know about favoritism from your experiences at school, in your neighborhood, and maybe even in your family. You can tell when someone is clearly the teacher’s pet! Or when someone is treated with great respect—or just a little.

Judging Others

I just love this true confession written by a teen who looked inside his heart and learned to accept others and not play favorites or show partiality. As you read it, ask yourself, “Am I an unfair judge?”

A new kid came to our school last year, and he was a little on the heavy side.
No one gave him a chance to show what kind of person he was;
instead, everyone judged him by his weight. Unfortunately, I did too.
Later in the year, many of us got to know him better, and he turned out to be really cool.
I felt so guilty about the way we acted earlier, and I wish we hadn’t judged him because of his appearance.

I’m sure everybody has treated someone unfairly at one time or another.
And most of us can be kind of shallow and sometimes judge people by how they look. But God is never shallow.
He cares about all of us—not because of what we look like, but because of who we are… 

You can thank God for the unique way he’s made you and for the way he’s made other people too. —Spencer  1

Accepting Others

There’s no doubt that playing favorites causes mountains of problems, hurt feelings, and broken friendships. It’s no wonder that James boldly says in James 2, verse 1, “Believers in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ must not show favoritism.” It’s like James is saying, “Do not show partiality! Do not play favorites!” In plain language, he is telling us, “Stop it!”

Instead, be kind and compassionate. Your acts of mercy and your kindness are proof that you follow Christ. As a child of God and a believer in Christ, you have experienced God’s mercy. Therefore you can and should be merciful toward others.

RESPOND

Jesus, thank You that You love me—yes, me!—just as I am. Thank You for helping me to love all people the same and to be merciful to those who need some help. Amen.

RENEWING RESOURCES

Living Your Faith (NEW RELEASE!) will help your tween daughter, age 8-12, understand what God’s Word is saying and how it applies to everyday life.

REFLECT

“If you really keep the royal law found in Scripture, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself,’ you are doing right.” (James 2:8)

Why is showing favoritism wrong?

  • It is the opposite of what Jesus told us to do.
  • It results from evil thoughts.
  • It insults people made in God’s image.
  • It comes from selfish motives.
  • It goes against the Bible’s definition of love.
  • It shows a lack of mercy to those less fortunate. It is sin.  2

REMEMBER

Be kind and compassionate.


 

 1 “Unfair Judges” in God’s Words of Life for Teens (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2000), p. 15.
2 Grant R. Osborne, ed., James (Life Application Bible Commentary) (Wheaton; Tyndale House, 1992), p. 52.

Read Playing Favorites – Teen Tuesday on Elizabeth & Jim George.

Jim and Elizabeth George

Jim and Elizabeth George are bestselling authors and national speakers dedicated to helping people live a life after God’s own heart. Together, they have written over 150 books with more than 14 million copies sold around the world. For over 35 years, the teachings and steadfast example of Elizabeth and Jim have helped countless men and women:

  • Simplify life by focusing on God’s priorities.
  • Appreciate God’s Word and apply it to everyday situations.
  • Respond to circumstances with confidence by seeing yourself through God’s loving eyes.
  • Increase closeness in marriage by serving and honoring each other.
  • Powerfully shape the hearts of children and teenagers.
  • Enjoy greater intimacy with God.

Learn more about Jim and Elizabeth George here.


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