“It’s like they didn’t even see me walking toward them. I guess that’s better than having them give me a dirty look.”
“You know how people are who live in THAT part of town.”
“Now, let’s not just invite everyone. I want it to be fun and some of those people are just awkward to be around, you know?”
It’s easy to spot favoritism when it’s obvious and it’s happening in someone else’s life. I can see someone is prejudice for or against someone when I see them discriminate between people and treat some better and treat others with disdain at some level.
If I see someone giving preferential treatment or attention to one group to the exclusion of others, that’s favoritism. Sure, some of it’s “normal” and a part of everyday life, but that’s kind of the point – when we accept what is normal and turn down the call of the Lord to accept and relate to all people, we’ve fallen prey to the hollow and deceptive philosophies of this world that are based on human traditions.
Spotting in other is easy. Spotting in us takes some discernment, a deeper look inside our heart and in our habits. Most of the time, we can explain away our prejudice and our discrimination:
“I don’t have time to get to know everyone. I mean, there’s just a few minutes before and after church to talk with people and I want to make sure I touch base with the people I want to see.”
“Maybe if the church puts together a class time where we’re able to connect with different people, THEN I can try to see what other people are like. I don’t have time or desire to do it on my own.”
“I’ve tried to reach out to people who are different from me, but it just seems like we don’t have anything in common and they aren’t very interested either. I mean, what are we supposed to do?”
And once we see our habits and our heart, we can begin to step out and do something different – something that is a move toward God’s heart toward people.
It’s not always rocket science or something super formal. It’s as easy as just being you and asking the other person to be themselves. And then making a little time here and there to connect and talk.
As Leon challenged us this past week, have a coffee or maybe have lunch together. 15 minutes here. An hour there. Just pick some time. Maybe ave someone over for dinner and just relax and get to know each other.
“Hey, tell me about where you grew up.”
“What’s your neighborhood/job/commute to work/family/etc like?”
“What’re your thoughts about ___________________?”
And just listen. And then share your story. A place to start in overcoming any of favoritism in your heart is just to start talking with people that you don’t normally take the time to get to know. Try it this week.
Romans 2:11 “God does not show favoritism”