Playing Favorites by Randy Rowley 5/18/12 ©


Do you have a favorite gun, one that you show off to your friends more often than any other?  Mine is a Remington Model 700 BDL chambered in .25-06 Remington.  It has the old-style hinged floor plate with a quick-release button and a button to release the bolt.  It has a 24-inch long barrel.

A Vortex Crossfire II 3-9x50mm matte finish scope with a V-Brite (illuminated) reticle presently tops it and Leupold see-through rings, which enable using the rifle’s iron sights, mount the scope.  A safari sling is attached to the rifle, and a Kane gun chap protects the Monte Carlo high gloss walnut stock.  A bullet band that holds nine shells also covers the stock.

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.

My father bought that rifle for me when I turned 16 years old.  I have used it to take many deer and hogs, a javelina, and a turkey.  It’s an old friend that 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 that they take care of it as well as I have.

You probably also have a favorite rod & reel, 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 from their father that Esau, Jacob’s older twin brother, would soon receive.  Isaac, their father, had grown old and blind and knew that death was near.  He commanded Esau to kill some wild game and prepare it for him.  Afterward, Isaac would give Esau his blessing.

After Esau left, Rebekah, who had overheard Isaac’s request, had Jacob bring her two goats.  She prepared the goats to Isaac’s liking.  She also had Jacob put on Esau’s clothes and covered his hands and neck with the goatskins.  Jacob then went to his father to serve him the goat meat.  Isaac initially thought something was amiss, but Jacob convinced Isaac that he was Esau by his smell and hairy hands and neck.  Isaac then gave Jacob the blessing that 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 Jacob’s and Rebekah’s deceit.  Esau asked Isaac also to bless him, but Isaac refused to bless Esau because 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 out of his 12 boys.  His favoritism resulted in Joseph becoming proud and arrogant.  He rubbed the fact that he was their father’s favorite into his brothers’ faces, which cost him his freedom and almost his life.  Benjamin then became Jacob’s favorite after Jacob thought that a wild animal had killed Joseph.

Three of the nine passages in the Bible that command us not to show favoritism are:

  • 1 Timothy 5:21 – “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.”
  • James 2:1 – “My brothers, as believers in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ, don’t show favoritism.”
  • James 2:9 – “But if you show favoritism, you sin and are convicted by the law as lawbreakers.”

You may ask, “I’ve been showing favoritism to one of my children – what should I do?”  Ask God to make you aware of all the ways that 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.”  You must then elevate the children you’ve neglected to the status of your previous favorite.  In essence – make them all your favorites.

You might be thinking, “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 the Lord to restore the relationships.  To be forgiven, you might have to go to the children you have neglected, confess your sin to them, and ask their forgiveness.  James 5:16a says, “Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed.”

A lot of men think that “love” is spelled “m-o-n-e-y,” but the best way to spell “love” is “t-i-m-e.”  Find out 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 in their minds 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 change in 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 your friends, saying, “Here’s one of my favorites!”

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Randy with his Remington Model 700

Categories : Devotionals

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