Favoritism is a survival mechanism; it is actually very much like a parasite. A parasite is an organism that lives in or on another organism (its host) and benefits by deriving nutrients at the host’s expense.
(1) Favoritism is a survival mechanism: Favoritism is aimed at satisfying the desire for glory. Glory is necessary for survival. Don’t you think so? We are creatures derived from (created by, and made in the image of) the only true and living God – THE KING of Glory (Psalm 24). As creatures made in God’s image it is QUITE necessary that we have glory, however – in a fallen/sinful world – our survival MECHANISM is not QUITE able to discern the appropriate way in which to get it. For example, the survival mechanism which produces the desire to drink salt water: the body knows it needs water and will go so far as to drink water permeated with salt in order to satisfy that essential desire. Of course, having gone about it in such a way, the body will eventually be destroyed by its misguided impulse. In the same way, our fallen nature is unable to discern the appropriate way in which to access glory. The desire for glory is innate and impulsive, and in our corrupt nature we devise and adopt the salt-water-like endeavor of favoritism to acquire it. Obeying our survival mechanism of favoritism will not only fail to get us glory, but it will inevitably destroy us. We need to be rescued from our idiocy, shown a better way, and (as it were) carried along and constantly supervised. It is only through Jesus Christ that we gain access to glory and are glorified; by faith we are united to Jesus, and thus share in His infinite glory (Rom. 8:28-30; Col. 1:12; Heb. 3:14; 12:10).
(2) Favoritism is like a parasite: Being a PARASITIC survival mechanism, favoritism is miserably self-serving. Favoritism can be very subtle and very deceiving (hence the comparison to parasite instead of cannibal), but it is always self-serving. It’s all about self-validation. My favorite people are the ones who give me their undivided attention, and ask questions which show they are enthralled with what I speak of. This kind of person makes me feel SO good about myself! My favorite friends are the ones who invite me to enjoy box seats with them at a basketball game. This makes me feel SO important (walking past all the peasants as I board the special elevator which ascends to the lap of “catered box seat” luxury…and of course what I love, even more than the nachos, is the fact that the implied status of these box seats “PROVES” that I am awesome!)! I would not dare be mean to, or ignore such a friend who is able to make me feel this way. You get the point…favoritism is all about “ME”! But what makes favoritism even more wretchedly parasitic is that it does not just feed off of one person (i.e. the person who is held in the “favorite” status so long as it benefits me), it also feeds off of all others whom are presumed to be inferior. Thus, favoritism should also be understood as being extremely unjust. The Bible reveals an inseparable connection between favoritism and injustice (Psalm 82; James 2:1-4). It is when people think of themselves as being superior to others that they wreak havoc, and injustice prevails. Favoritism superficially and conceitedly elevates one at the expense of another – inevitably leading to dehumanization and discrimination (Jas. 2:4).
The only liberation from favoritism is found in the Gospel: In Matthew 20:28 Jesus says, “the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many.”
…Believing in this is the only thing potent enough to overcome the cancer of favoritism in our lives, and in the world.
Only by faith in Jesus will we sincerely adopt, and live out, the principle of Acts 20:35.