Playing Favorites by Randy Rowley 5/18/12 ©


Do you have a favorite gun you show to your friends more often than others?  Mine is a Remington Model 700 BDL chambered in .25-06 that my dad gave me on my 16th birthday.  It has the old-style floor plate with a quick-release button, a bolt-release button, a 24-inch-long barrel, and a Monte Carlo cheek comb high gloss walnut stock.

A Vortex Crossfire II 3-9x50mm matte finish scope with a V-Brite (illuminated) reticle with Butler Creek flip-up scope mounts is presently mounted on Leupold see-through rings (which enables me to shoot with the rifle’s iron sights).  Other after-market additions include a safari sling, a Kane gun chap (which protects the stock), and a nine-shell bullet band surrounding the stock.  I also add a Harris Bipod to the stock sometimes when hunting from my pop-up blinds – it’s designed to use when sitting and detaches easily.

I had a gunsmith adjust the 7-lb.-pull factory trigger to 3 lbs. and free-float the barrel when the rifle was about 20 years old.

I have used it to take many deer and hogs, a couple of sheep, a javelina, and a turkey.  It’s an old friend I count on to bring home the bacon.  One day my son will inherit it from me.  Hopefully, his son will inherit it from him.  I hope they take care of it as well as I have.

You probably also have a favorite rod and reel combo, knife, duck call, fishing lure, and a host of other outdoor gear.

But what about a favorite child?

If you have a favorite child, you wouldn’t be the first parent guilty of favoritism.  Genesis chapter 27 tells a story of favoritism – the story of Rebekah and her wicked scheme to have Jacob (her favorite son) steal the blessing Isaac (his father) would soon give to Esau (Jacob’s older twin brother).  Isaac had grown old and blind and knew he was near death.  He commanded Esau to kill some wild game and prepare it for him, and after Isaac ate it, he would give Esau his blessing.

After Esau left, Rebekah, who had overheard Isaac’s request to Esau, had Jacob bring her two goats.  She killed and prepared the goats to Isaac’s liking.  She also had Jacob put on Esau’s clothes, and she covered Jacob’s hands and neck with the goatskins.  Jacob then went to his father to serve him his requested meal.  Isaac initially suspected something was amiss, but Jacob convinced him he was Esau by his smell and hairy hands and neck.  Isaac then gave Jacob the blessing he intended for Esau.

Shortly afterward, Esau returned, prepared the game he had killed, and brought it to his father.  Both men then learned of Rebekah’s and Jacob’s deceit.  Esau asked Isaac to bless him, but Isaac refused, saying he had only one blessing.  Esau then vowed to kill Jacob.  But Jacob saved himself by fleeing to his uncle’s house in Harran.

Sadly, Jacob didn’t learn from his and his mother’s folly.  He also had two favorite sons among his 12 boys.  Jacob’s first favorite was Joseph.  His favoritism resulted in Joseph becoming proud and arrogant.  He rubbed the fact that he was their father’s favorite into his brothers’ faces, who first discussed killing him but sold him to slavers instead.  Benjamin then became Jacob’s favorite after Jacob bought his other ten sons’ story about a wild animal killing Joseph.

The Bible is clear that favoritism is a sin.  Verses addressing it include:

  • “I charge you, in the sight of God and Christ Jesus and the elect angels, to keep these instructions without partiality, and to do nothing out of favoritism.” (1 Timothy 5:21)
  • “My brothers, as believers in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ, don’t show favoritism.” (James 2:1)
  • “But if you show favoritism, you sin and are convicted by the law as lawbreakers.” (James 2:9)

If you’ve been showing favoritism to one of your children, ask God to make you aware of all the ways you’ve shown favoritism, then confess your sin to God and repent, as with any other sin.  1 John 1:9 says, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”  Also, elevate the children you’ve neglected to the status of your previous favorite and make them all your favorites.  James 5:16a says, “Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed.”  To be forgiven, you might have to go to the children who were not your favorites, confess your sin, and ask their forgiveness.

You might think, “But what about their behavior?” or “What about them wanting nothing to do with me?”  Both questions are irrelevant.  Don’t look for excuses to keep sinning.  You must do the right thing and trust God to restore the relationships.

Many men think “love” is spelled “m-o-n-e-y,” but the best way to spell it is “t-i-m-e.”  Discover what your children like to do and do it with them, even if you don’t like it.  Ask the Lord to give you tolerance for it.  Find ways to honor, appreciate, admire, and cherish them.  Tell them several times a week how much you love them.  Brag on them to their friends and yours.  There should be no doubt of their place in your heart.  Proverbs 16:24 says, “Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.”

Avoid trying to make them reciprocate.  They might need to see your changed behavior over an extended period and ensure it’s not a fad.  Don’t try to buy their love and forgiveness.  They don’t want your money – they want you!  They want you to pull them out of your imaginary gun cabinet and show them to their friends, saying, “Here’s one of my favorites!”

Randy holding his favorite gun, with his mouflon sheep

Categories : Devotionals

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Bible Verse of the Day

A little that a righteous man has Is better than the riches of many wicked. For the arms of the wicked shall be broken, But the LORD upholds the righteous.