I am confident in saying I really don't have favorites. I love all my children equally. I love my students - seminary, singing, or the students in the classes I help with equally. Honestly. I am willing to listen to, teach, care for etc. pretty much most people that I meet.
During the show I just finished I had several sleepless night worrying for kids I barely met and don't know as well as I know other kids. My lack of a solid relationship with them did not stop me from worrying, nor waking from nightmares, nor crying myself to sleep at the heartache I see in the world around me. The thing is, I care. I care deeply.
As I was driving today, pondering what would make someone think I had favorites, it occurred to me that I knew this pattern.
We love him, because he loved us first.
Does God have favorites?
I would say no. He loves all of His children equally. He wants all of His children to grow and to learn and succeed equally. God gives to His children all that they need equally - WHAT THEY NEED and we all don't have the same needs. He sees the potential in each of His children. His heart aches when His children make mistakes, or are disappointed, or feel great sorrow. His purpose is to bring to pass the happiness and success of all His children... equally.
Sometimes, we mistakenly believe that God loves some of His children more than He loves others. We perceive that because He deals with one child differently than an other child there is favoritism. We are convinced that when we see the good fortunes of some of His children that there is favoritism. We mistakenly believe that He loves some more than others because we decide life isn't fair.
I haven't always known this in my heart. I have been jealous of the blessing I see others receive. I have wondered if He was there because He didn't give me the answer I wanted to hear. I have wondered why I wasn't on the "favorite" list when trials and disappointments have not been removed from my path. I have been jealous of the relationship I have seen others have with God.
Where do we get those ideas?
Then it came to me. Those whom we believe are the favorite are those who have put the time in to KNOW God. They have long conversations with Him. They try the principles and truths that God teaches them and thus learn for themselves. They get to know Him by serving God and serving His other children.
That doesn't sound like God's problem. It's our problem.
As I softened my heart and tried hard to know Him I realized more and more just how much God loves everyone. He blesses those who ask and those who don't, yet those who ask see His hand more often. He blesses those who have conversations with Him and those who do not, yet those who talk with Him and read His word see His hand in their lives more frequently. He blesses those who are obedient and those who are not, yet those who are obedient feel His love more deeply for themselves.
He blesses those who work and serve and those who wait to be waited on, yet those who serve develop a greater understanding of God's love.
God does not have favorites.
Some children feel God's love more readily because they took the time to know Him.
A parent, a teacher, a friend, a leader... at least the good ones... love people equally. They want people to grow, learn and succeed equally. They see potential in everyone and focus on the positive. They listen to everyone. Their heart aches when mistakes are made; when meanness and intolerance and anger flourish. Their heart aches when the people near them suffer - disappointment, harshness, and sorrow.
I am sorry that it may look like I have favorites. I do try my best to make myself available to lift and strengthen those I come in contact with. Some of those I love take the time to talk with me, to try the concepts and lessons I attempt to teach them, to work along side me. I can see how they appear to be closer.
God loves equally.
As a parent... as I teacher... as a human... I try my best to love all people equally.
I am grateful for the perfect example of perfect love that I can strive to be more like loving each day. It my goal to love as He loves everyday...
... no favorites here, accept for God. He is my favorite.