Favouritism in Ministries
2 Kings 4:25 -
So she went and came to the man of God to mount Carmel. And it came to pass, when the man of God saw her afar off, that he said to Gehazi his servant, Behold, yonder is that Shunammite:
We see in ministries there are certain people who are closer to the leaders compared to the others. The leader would go out of his or her way for these people. This starts to cause cracks in the ministry specially when there are other more gifted and more hardworking people, who are not given the due attention. Many a times in these situations instead of the Lord ministering to them, Satan starts to minister to them.
Favouritism can cause great problems and even Elisha was blinded by favouritism which he had for the Shunammite woman, thus had to pay a price for it. He did not have any evil or lustful desires for her but was just feeling obliged towards her favours; this is one of the main reasons of favouritism.
When people (especially rich people or influential people) are in or helping ministries, their involvement does help in the work of the ministry, but if the leader is not wise and not Spirit led then these people also become the greatest disasters to the ministry.
The Shunammite woman acknowledged Elisha as a great Man of God but was ignorant of the God of Elisha. She looked more at the man in the Man of God and not the God in the Man of God. Elisha on the other hand did not consult God or was not led by the Spirit of God before blessing the woman with a son so his gift did not last and then he had to fight with God to keep his own prestige and thus managed to get life restored to the boy.
The disciples of Jesus too fought among themselves for greater attention. In the start there were issues Jesus had to face with John and James (who were His first cousins, Salome was His mother's sister and He called her Mary out of love, taking her like His own mother). Not only John and James were persuasive, even their mother wanted them to be on the top.
Jesus did give greater attention to John and James not because they were persuasive but because they were to be the main leaders managing the operations of the Church along with Peter also in the case of John, he had to write His autobiography (Gospel of John).
Peter was given in-charge of evangelising the Jewish Christians and Paul the Gentile Christians, yet all reported to this group of 3 (pillars) for directions. Later Paul and Barnabas became part of this core group. So it was neither Peter alone who headed the Church (as Catholics think) nor it was all the twelve that headed the Church (as many Believers think) but it was these 5 who headed the Church / were pillars of the Church.
Bible state John the Apostle called himself the 'loved one' so also was Lazarus, Mary (Lazarus' sister), Mary the Magdalene, Martha (Lazarus' sister), James (Jesus' brother) among others. Remember we all who are in Christ are loved by Him and He loved us unto death, so how can Christ love anyone more He loved us. We all are His 'loved ones'. Yes Jesus did give more importance to some over the others, like He did to his twelve disciples over the others in His group, or 3 of the disciples over the other 12 disciples but this was done not according to their relationship with Him but with the purpose they had in the plans of God.
Bible says Mary His mother was high favoured by God and this favour was not because she was better than the others but because she was part of the plan of God and she said yes to it. We can gain or lose the favour of God if we agree or refuse to be part of His plan.
The Lord is telling us not to have favouritism according what people are in this world but according to what they are in the plans of the Kingdom of God. This is a problem in almost every Church or Ministry, and it should be corrected.
[ Prayer Starter ]
Lord, there are times we do not look at You as our provider but look at the hand through whom You provide. Lord we prayer we be led by your Spirit and grow in discernment. Let us be aware of the plans You have over the people You have given us to lead that we may neither hinder their growth nor puff them into what they are not and then struggle to tame the monster we created...
This prayer we make in Jesus' Name, Amen.
[ Reference ]
20 Then came to him the mother of Zebedee's children with her sons, worshipping him, and desiring a certain thing of him.
21 And he said unto her, What wilt thou? She saith unto him, Grant that these my two sons may sit, the one on thy right hand, and the other on the left, in thy kingdom.
22 But Jesus answered and said, Ye know not what ye ask. Are ye able to drink of the cup that I shall drink of, and to be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with? They say unto him, We are able.
23 And he saith unto them, Ye shall drink indeed of my cup, and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with: but to sit on my right hand, and on my left, is not mine to give, but it shall be given to them for whom it is prepared of my Father.
24 And when the ten heard it, they were moved with indignation against the two brethren.
25 But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Ye know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them.
26 But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister;
27 And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant:
Galatians 2:9 - And when James, Cephas, and John, who seemed to be pillars, perceived the grace that was given unto me, they gave to me and Barnabas the right hands of fellowship; that we should go unto the heathen, and they unto the circumcision.
Luke 1:28 - And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women.
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