- briancrc-@... wrote:
> > ...But doesn't it seem that God does showthat
> > favoritism in the different blessings/talents/abilities/situations
> > he gives to each of us? ...It seems to me there's a number of interesting aspects involved here.
A main question is, are those we may considered "favored," really
What would the world consider to be considered favored? Good looks, a
good education, athletic/artistic/musical ability, a lot of money,
widespread fame, power...
Perhaps musical talent, or success and fame makes you happy? Just days
ago a concert by Fiona Apple at a sold out NY club ended when she left
in the middle of a song in tears.
Perhaps those with athletic ability are more at peace with their lives.
Has athletic ability made Rae Carruth or John Rocker at more peace?
Perhaps success come with a lot of power... did Bill Clinton's power
bring him success?
Perhaps it's all in being famous and influential. Where did this lead
World-famous good looks, world-famous spouses? Marilyn Monroe.
It must be money then... There certainly exists a
higher-than-may-be-expected rate of suicide among the rich. Think you
get what I'm saying here.
It seems to me then, that the issue here is not GOD FAVORING certain
people... it's that those who are favored -- are those certain people
who ACKNOWLEDGE HIM.
- I fully agree that none of these things bring happiness or define
success. I also agree that we must acknowledge God. But my question is
more about that there are some things that would appear to some as God
showing some favoritism. For example, I would rather have food to eat
than not have food to eat. But there are those in the world that hardly
have anything to eat, and what they do have is barely eatable. People
in both of these situations may acknowledge God and that He's provided
everything they have, but I'd rather be in a situation to be able to
Brian had some good comments and stated that we are blessed so that we
may be a blessing to others. I completely agree and think that hunger
provides an opportunity for those with food and resources to bless
them. But not everyone out there w/o food is "blessed" by those of us
who are blessed, and they still go hungry. They may both acknowledge
God, but one has to endure the pains of hunger and the other doesn't.
So why would that not indicate that God has shown favoritism to the one
I hope that made sense...I've been in front of a computer too long.
Always eager to hear the input of others...
> briancrc-@... wrote:
> original article:http://www.egroups.com/group/findingfaith/?start=90
> > > ...But doesn't it seem that God does show
> > > favoritism in the different blessings/talents/abilities/situations
> > > he gives to each of us? ...
> It seems to me there's a number of interesting aspects involved here.
> A main question is, are those we may considered "favored," really
> What would the world consider to be considered favored? Good looks, a
> good education, athletic/artistic/musical ability, a lot of money,
> widespread fame, power...
> Perhaps musical talent, or success and fame makes you happy? Just days
> ago a concert by Fiona Apple at a sold out NY club ended when she left
> in the middle of a song in tears.
> Perhaps those with athletic ability are more at peace with their lives.
> Has athletic ability made Rae Carruth or John Rocker at more peace?
> Perhaps success come with a lot of power... did Bill Clinton's power
> bring him success?
> Perhaps it's all in being famous and influential. Where did this lead
> Kurt Cobain?
> World-famous good looks, world-famous spouses? Marilyn Monroe.
> It must be money then... There certainly exists a
> higher-than-may-be-expected rate of suicide among the rich. Think you
> get what I'm saying here.
> It seems to me then, that the issue here is not GOD FAVORING certain
> people... it's that those who are favored -- are those certain people
> who ACKNOWLEDGE HIM.
- In a message dated 3/3/00 10:17:33 AM Eastern Standard Time, rmerik@...
It seems to me there's a number of interesting aspects involved here.
A main question is, are those we may considered "favored," really
Erick -- some really great insights here, man! Thanks -- Brian
- Hi, I'll jump in. Marc, based on your second post, it sounds as if
you're question is being rephrased a bit to sound like this: "Why is it
so much easier for some than others? Why would God set things up this
way?" At first glance it sure does smack of favoritism.
I suggest the rephrasing of your question because of your analogy of
those of us who have enough to eat and those who don't. Clearly, here
we're not talking about the smaller comforts of life that make our day
go a little easier.
I appreciated Brian's focus on community (his second point) as a way of
looking at blessings. I happen to have a sister who is pretty
incapacitated, both physically and mentally, and through the years I
have had to come to terms (and am still coming to terms) with the
question of Why would God let this happen to her? Or, if it happens to
her, then at least make it happen to everyone else so that we're all
dealing with same deck of cards here.
There's no question that her life has been a blessing in countless ways
to many people. I really support Brian's perspective on this. (And I
know that he didn't share that perspective lightly!)
But to add to this....certainly I don't think that if I sat down with
Lisa right now and said, "Lisa, could you tell me about how your
predicament in life has been a blessing to others?" that she would
agree that her predicament in life has been a blessing to others. Of
course that's not what Brian was suggesting!--you have to look from the
outside in to see that kind of blessing. Unfortunately, she's not able
to look from the "outside in." And she would trade places in a second
with someone who can walk, talk, and function normally. I would imagine
the same thing would happen if you sat down with a starved child (or
I am deeply sorry for her that she has to live with this situation that
neither I nor many others have had to live with it. And you know what?
I know that God is, too. Somehow, in a way I don't understand (nor do I
expect I ever will), I *feel* that God is deeply sorry for her, that
he's deeply sorry that some of us suffer horribly while others of us
don't. Could God have prevented this tragedy from afflicting my sister
(and my family)? I believe it is within his power at this very moment
to make her a whole human being, like you and me. I used to pray for
this when I was very young.
But I don't anymore. Yes, part of me doesn't believe that God *will* at
this point because he hasn't over the past 35 years or so! But in a
strange sort of way, he has assured me (time and again) that he doesn't
love Lisa any less than any of the rest of us. In fact (and here I'm
probably really off base theologically), I sense that he loves her
more. In that sense, maybe God does have favorites! Indeed, I really
believe that, after this life, when we are with Christ, somehow people
like her are going to be spending a lot of time teaching people like me
what it means to be whole. Because then she *will* be whole (I'm
convinced), and will know the difference, whereas people like me will
have just meandered through life pretty clueless on that point.
My experiencing the above, and knowing the above, does not make it
easier to watch her suffer. I don't expect that will ever change.
Am I angry at God for "allowing" this suffering to take place in her
life (and in our family's)? For not being "fair"? Maybe, at some level
that I'm not aware of. Maybe I already went through that phase--I don't
know. It's been a long journey.
So yes, maybe I'll conclude here by saying, Yes, God does have
favorites --- the most unfortunate ones! Because I believe his heart is
weighted down with compassion for them, beyond what we can understand.
I also don't expect to ever understand why he "allows" this reality to
be as it is. But he also makes it real clear throughout the Bible that
the reality in this life is going to be different from the reality of
the next life, and perhaps that is where I derive my most comfort when
I consider the suffering (the "nonblessed", I guess).
That's all for now.
- Mary Beth -- I'm not sure why, but as I read your posting telling about your
sister, my eyes filled up with tears and I almost started to cry (which is
pretty rare for me). What a powerful insight. I thought of Jesus' parable
about the rich man and Lazarus, and how (in Jesus' vision of the afterlife),
"disfavored" Lazarus is gathered "to Abraham's bosom." I thought of how
Jesus said those who mourn, are hungry, thirsty, etc., will be comforted,
filled, etc. I thought of how Jesus said the last will be first.
I have felt this so strongly with mentally ill people here in the church.
When they are released from the burdens associated with our flawed bodies,
etc. (however that will happen), I know (i.e. strongly believe) these people
will have a courage and strength far beyond us "normal" people.
Anyway, thanks for your words. I hope they help and touch others as much as
they did me. -- Brian