The Toxicity of Favoritism

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Romans 2:11 says “God does not show favoritism.” That scripture has come to my thoughts over and over the past few weeks. I found it highlighted in my husband’s first bible I’d given him when we started dating. The one he was reading when he first got saved. With that being one of only two verses highlighted in the ENTIRE bible, it stuck out. Call it coincidence if you want, but I’m all about God moments – and this seems to be one.

Throughout my life, I’ve always been the favorite. It was always obvious that an aunt or grandparent favored me, and I got special treatment. I’m not saying that to brag, because honestly, it’s caused me a lot of trouble in my adult life. So many toxic traits I deal with today are because of this dynamic that existed in my childhood.

But WHY was I the favorite? Was I just an agreeable person that did all the things to make people like me or was I just naturally likable? Who really knows if the chicken or egg came first in this equation? It was what it was and I enjoyed it. I took pride in being that person.

So, for the sake of understanding God’s intentions and further understanding the WHY’s in life, let’s unpack this together.

For starters, I am chronically competing. Whether that be for the favorite coworker, sister, daughter, friend – nothing is safe from that loud race in my head that MUST announce me the winner. It’s how I’ve gotten my worth all these years. As Ricky Bobby’s dad says…  “If you’re not first, you’re last.” I don’t know if you’ve seen the movie, but his dad wasn’t the greatest fella. And when you cling to a toxic statement and let it become your life mantra, you’ll start to see the negative effects unfold. In my case, the mantra was “I am and should always be the favorite.”

Instead of being a friend or trying to work alongside others, I compete. As much as I hate it and try to stop doing it, it keeps happening. I’ll hear words in my head that say “oh, you do this wayyyy better than so and so.” Or “Did you just see that way you did that there? You’re OBVIOUSLY going to get noticed bc of that. I mean, duh, who wouldn’t notice that and think you were so awesome?” If I’m being honest, it makes me uncomfortable to admit all this. It makes me feel like a terrible person – completely full of myself and uncaring for the rest of humanity. But Lord knows that’s not true. Couldn’t be further from the truth. The point is, THOSE are the kinds of thoughts that come from the toxic obsession with being the “favorite”.

So, I’m reminding myself again, for the 18,587th time. God doesn’t have favorites. There is nothing we can do to make him favor us over someone else. I think in knowing that, we’re expected to act on his behalf. Should we have favorites? Shouldn’t we treat everyone the same regardless of how they look or speak? Shouldn’t EVERYONE belong in our inner circle? Of course, I understand boundaries and toxic people and all that jazz. I’m only focusing on the truth of God’s word here – the stepping stone of basic decency.

This is a defining moment. Where I choose to stop trying to be the favorite and let God do his work in me. Because we’re all a PART of the body of Christ. Not one of us could do it alone. That goes for a family or a job or a dance team. We all have our own individual strengths and it’s time to appreciate that about one another.

This may not be your struggle, but if it is, you’re not alone. Step by step, lets walk out of toxic thinking. You ready?

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Hey, I’m Lia.
Just a modern day Anne Lamott without the foul mouth.

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