There’s an old expression for someone who was the teacher’s favorite student, the “teacher’s pet”. Every kid in the class despised the teacher’s pet. They felt like the “pet” always received preferred treatment, got away with a little more social freedom than the other kids and seemed to get better grades. Children don’t realize the importance of following the rules, doing your work and getting along with others. These are the types of behaviors that these kids displayed to earn the title “teacher’s pet”. As we grow up, we often fall back into behaviors or feelings that we once had as children. I would bet that there is someone in your place of work or an organization you belong to that reminds you of a “teacher’s pet”. A co-worker or colleague who the boss seemingly treats better than anyone else or who has a little more leeway when it comes to using their discretion. Annoying isn’t it?
I wonder what our fourth grade selves might say to us when they see how we are reacting. Are we jealous because they are getting attention? What is it that they are doing that has put them in this “superior” position? What aren’t you doing? Supervisors have a responsibility to avoid these types of circumstances in their work places. It’s hard not to give high performers extra responsibility, more challenging assignments and a little more understanding when they make mistakes. Good supervisors however, will engage all of their employees to find out what they want to accomplish that will support the mission of the company. They will give employees the right challenge to match their skills and desires. They shouldn’t give an employee an accounting project if the employee doesn’t have any practical experience. Avoiding favoritism is hard for a supervisor but it critical for the overall team’s success. If your supervisor isn’t providing you these types of challenges, ask for the opportunity; maybe they simply needed to know that you cared.
“…God does not show favoritism but accepts men from every nation who fear him and do what is right.” Acts 10:34-35
Imagine if God actually had favorites and then imagine being one of them! What kind of things could you do or what kind of things would you know? Interesting, isn’t it? The truth is, we are all God’s favorites. If we think about the people or places in our life that are our favorites; we always give them special treatment. We’ll visit a favorite restaurant multiple times or the friend that we think of first when we want to go out for a night or have an extra ticket to an event to give away. This describes the difference between God and us; He has no favorites. We are all equally loved, no matter what our place in life.
John 3:16 says “God so loved the world…” It doesn’t say that God loved a special few or that He loved His favorites, He loved the WORLD. God showed His love for us by saving us through Jesus Christ. He didn’t offer to save His special friends or those that serve Him or specifically anyone other than those that fear Him, do what is right and have faith in Jesus as their savior. God’s promises are clear and no amount of works or giving or special prayers will get us eternal life. We have it simply through God’s grace, which means, we are ALL His favorites.