The God of No Favoritism

by the Rev. Jose Oliveira, M.Div.

favoritismAl of us have our “favorite things”, don’t we? My favorite dessert is pudding; so I like pudding better than jelly. We even have favorite people when considering their occupation or their talents. Therefore, I like certain actors or actresses better than others. Children don’t like to think that parents have favorites, but don’t they? What about God? Does He have favorite children or things? Does he like certain people or things better than others?

We have favoritism towards people and things because our perception is finite, limited, imperfect. However God is perfect and his perception of things also is perfect. Therefore, I believe that God has no need, like us, to have favorite people or things. On this opportunity, I would like to think further on this issue, if God acts with favoritism towards people or things. Do you agree, that in the end, all comes down to the question if God changes or not?

One of the non-transferrable attribute of God is His immutability. God doesn’t change. God has no mood swings. As the New Testament states, in God there is no variation; therefore, He cannot like things according certain range of preference, say, from little to very much. Different from us, God has a perfect way to appreciate things without dislike anything.

The reason why I think that God cannot dislike anything is because if he would, then this “dislike” would make God unhappy and God cannot be unhappy. How, then, God deals with people and things that do not fit His will? Again, it is a matter of perception. Our perception is limited, time-space contained, transitory, but God’s perception is from eternity. Although God is aware of time-space realities, only those realities that fit in God’s plans will become eternal, all other circumstances will disappear in time, inclusive sin. So, sin, being a deviation of God’s will, has not permanent existence and God sees it in this way, having no need to dislike it, because it will not prevail anyway. So, God likes sin? No, anything that is against God’s will also is incapable of receiving His love. So, all of human beings who have chosen to ignore God, have put themselves outside of God’s plan and outside of God’s love; they rejected God’s love and they will be as if never had been. God has no need to dislike anything, because there is nothing (in His eternal e perfect perception) to be disliked. Everything is succeeding as He planned.

I have read elsewhere, that the most love-revealing attitude is the capability of really understand people, things and situations, and be able to act according this understanding. However, most people think of love only as a feeling. Real understanding can only be achieved if truth is present. If we are capable of understand the people’s real motivations, we are also capable of genuinely love them, even if we don’t agree with their actions or ideas; to understand them, enable us to act in love. God is capable of a true, perfect understanding of all things and beings, and that is why he is capable of loving all without compromise his perfect nature.

From our perception, in feeling the perfect love of God and his personal attention to each one of us, we might think that God loves us better or more than others, although we may not know why. The people of Israel thought that way in the past. There is no doubt that Israel, due its relationship with God became a distinct people from all others nations, but does it mean that Israel is God’s favorite nation? Even if in their religious perception Israel and the Church see that way, God is beyond human perception — even believed inspired ones –; Hel has no favorites.

In God has no variation or shadows, He is the God of no favoritism.

Rev. Jose Oliveira, M.Div. is an ordained presbyterian minister and the director of the Illinois Theological Seminary

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