Favoritism Fallout

John Tilton


Genesis 37:3-4

Now Israel loved Joseph more than any of his other sons, because he had been born to him in his old age; and he made an ornate robe for him. When his brothers saw that their father loved him more than any of them, they hated him and could not speak a kind word to him.


In life there is often a natural tendency to favor certain people over others for whatever reason, as well as a child over his or her siblings for various reasons as was the case with Israel favoring Joseph. As Israel did in providing Joseph with an ornate robe; people, parents or elders will also often reward their favorites with special gifts or considerations, seldom thinking that or realizing how it will affect siblings or peers. We then read of the outcome in the story of Joseph and how his brothers treated him so cruelly because of their jealousy, which is often a result of one feeling that they’ve experienced the short end of favoritism. How far can jealousy, hurt and revenge be taken because of favoritism? How often is the jealousy, hurt, revenge or fallout endured and manifested, going undetected or known with dire consequences on hearts and in actions?


Having two amazing grandchildren, I’ve recently noticed how when I may show attention or affection to one, the other quietly watches and observes. Or when one gets something, the other asks “what about me?” Furthermore, when one is playing with something, the other wants it or one like it. I am reminded that although they may not say much in some of those instances, there is an obvious observation and consequence. I just finished pushing them both on a swing set and even notice how my grandchildren monitored how many pushes I was giving each of them.

Lanu (my wife) and I intentionally try to be so careful to be equal and fair, not showing partiality, less a sibling rift and chasm unknowingly develop between two children that we so love.

So to can it be for many of our relationships or situations where we show partiality and favoritism that can have negative consequences or repercussions. Have I every played someone else up at the expense of others? Or have I ever leveraged one person against another to achieve a result or goal? Having being given authority as a leader or parent, is where it is part of our/my responsibility to refrain from favoritism and partiality, so that others will feel that they’ve been fairly valued and treated.


Dear Lord, please guide me in my relationships and authority to show fairness, value and equal love to others so that my influence on people will be a positive one, exampling your love and value.

Devotions for January 15

Genesis 37,38
Psalms 7
Luke 15

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