What does the Bible say about favoritism?

What Does the Bible Say About Favoritism?

Favoritism is a behavior we see in every aspect of our lives. It is a natural tendency to favor a particular person or group of people over others. This may be because of their race, gender, age, socioeconomic status, religious beliefs, or any other factor.

However, this behavior is not new as even the Bible talks about it. In the Old Testament, favoritism was prevalent, especially in the lives of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. It caused strife and divisions among their families, and in some cases, the consequences of favoritism were severe.

In the New Testament, we see Jesus speaking out against favoritism, emphasizing that all humans are equal in the eyes of God. In the book of James, we find a stern warning against favoritism. He says that it is sin to show partiality to one person while discriminating against another.

What is Favoritism?

Favoritism is a form of discrimination. It is when someone shows preference or gives special treatment to one person or group, while ignoring others. This is done typically based on their personal biases or feelings toward the person or group in question.

Favoritism can take many forms, such as nepotism, where someone in a position of power shows preferential treatment to a family member or friend. It can also be based on race or gender, where someone is given preferential treatment based on these factors.

Favoritism in the Bible

Throughout the Bible, we see examples of favoritism. In the Old Testament, we read about Jacob, who favored his son Joseph over his other sons by giving him more attention and a special coat of many colors. This caused intense jealousy and bitterness among his other sons, which led to them selling Joseph into slavery.

Likewise, in the New Testament, we read about the early church struggling with favoritism. In the book of James, we read that the early Jewish-Christian community was showing favoritism to the wealthy while discriminating against the poor.

Should Christians Practice Favoritism?

No, Christians should not practice favoritism. The Bible emphasizes that all humans are created equal and should be treated as such. We are all made in the image of God, and he shows no partiality to any person or group.

In James 2:1-9, we find a scathing rebuke against favoritism. James warns his readers not to show favoritism to the rich while ignoring or mistreating the poor. He tells them that if they show favoritism, they are committing a sin and violating the royal law of love.


1. Is it biblical to have favorites?

No, it is not biblical to have favorites. In Romans 2:11, it says that God shows no partiality. Hence, as His children, we are called to love and treat everyone equally.

2. Is favoritism a sin?

Yes, favoritism is a sin. It violates the biblical principle of loving our neighbor as ourselves. It shows a lack of respect for the equal worth of all people in God’s eyes.

3. What are some consequences of favoritism?

Favoritism can cause division, bitterness, and conflict among individuals and groups. It can also lead to discrimination and perpetuate inequality.

4. What is the biblical antidote to favoritism?

The biblical antidote to favoritism is to love our neighbor as ourselves and to treat others as we would want to be treated.

5. Why do we struggle with favoritism?

We struggle with favoritism because of our innate biases and prejudices. We tend to favor those who are like us and discriminate against those who are different.

6. How should I approach someone who practices favoritism?

Approach them with love and humility, and respectfully point out how their actions are hurting others. Show them the biblical principle of loving our neighbor as ourselves.

7. How can we prevent favoritism in the workplace?

We can prevent favoritism in the workplace by establishing clear policies and guidelines for hiring and promotion. It is also essential to train managers on the biblical principles of treating others fairly and without discrimination.

8. Can favoritism be overcome?

Yes, favoritism can be overcome. It starts with recognizing our biases and prejudices and intentionally seeking to treat everyone equally.

9. How can we teach our children to avoid favoritism?

We can teach our children to avoid favoritism by modeling love, diversity, and acceptance in our actions and words. It is also crucial to teach them the biblical principle of loving our neighbor as ourselves.

10. Is there anything positive about favoritism?

No, there is nothing positive about favoritism. It only perpetuates inequality, division, and discrimination.

11. How can favoritism negatively affect our relationship with God?

Favoritism can negatively affect our relationship with God because it violates His command to love our neighbor as ourselves. It shows a lack of respect for the worth of every human being in God’s eyes.

12. How can we use our faith to combat favoritism?

We can use our faith to combat favoritism by modeling biblical principles of love, equality, and justice. We can also pray for the strength and wisdom to overcome our biases and prejudices and see others as God sees them.

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About Emma Miller

Emma Miller has enjoyed working as a writer for over 18 years and holds a Master’s Degree in Linguistics and Education, but has also studied Ancient History and Engish Literature. She is fascinated by the science of dreams and is a long-time member of the International Association for the Study of Dreams

She has a wide range of hobbies and interests, ranging from mythology and ancient cultures to the works of J.R.R. Tolkein and taking care of her extensive garden.

Emma works as one of the staff writers of Rockridge Institute – The Spirit Magazine but also enjoys writing about other topics that interest her for various publications and websites.

She lives with her husband, Tom, and their two cats, Mitzy and Frodo, in San Diego, California.

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