I tell my kids all the time that they are my favorite.
One is my favorite Bear, the other is my favorite toddler. One is my favorite 4 year-old, and the other is my favorite fuzzy head.
Or I just say it plain, “You are my favorite!!”
Because they both are.
I love the way they talk, the things the say, even the ways they get sassy with me. I like the sounds they make (for the most part!), the silly games they make up & play, and the way they walk. I love seeing how they play at the park, taking them to the library, watching the toys they gravitate toward, and the shows they like to watch.
I love to tell them: “You are my favorite!”
Later they may ask, “How can we both be your favorite? Doesn’t ‘favorite’ imply that there can only be one?”
What a great question!
A long time ago, I wrote a teaching entitled, “You Are God’s Favorite: Living in the Reality of God’s Fierce Tenderness”. I thought this was a great time, given the recent posts about being God’s child, to pull out that teaching and re-visit it for this blog.
1 John 3:1 says “How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!”
John, the writer of the above, was one of the 3 disciples closest to Jesus, one of His intimate friends. As I share in the post, “Is Having One Best Friend Biblical?“, Jesus did not have a single best friend; He had 3 intimate friends. John was one of these 3.
From what we know, John didn’t begin writing about his experiences with Jesus until very late in his life, as historians believe he wrote his gospel and letters over 50 years after Jesus died.
The Gospel of John was written with perspective. He had decades of reflecting on Jesus, His time on earth, and what the Christian walk was about. I believe it was because of this perspective that in his gospel, John referred to himself as “The Disciple whom Jesus Loved”.
Some people feel that this is just a prideful statement for John to make. Really? You are the disciple whom Jesus loved?
I don’t hear it that way at all.
John was intimately familiar with the special place that Jesus had in His heart for all believers. John was the disciple who had literally rested his head against God’s heart at the Last Supper when he leaned on Jesus’s chest. Thus, John did not define himself solely as a disciple, or an apostle, an evangelist, or a writer of truths about Jesus – he didn’t even call Himself by name in the above mentioned passage (a very important thing during that time).
Instead, he based his entire identity on the fact that he was loved by God.
I’m sometimes asked to define myself with labels. I am Brenna, I simply respond.
I used to call myself a lesbian-identified bisexual. It was important to me that people got that label right.
I also called myself anorexic, or that I “have an eating disorder”, though the eating disorder I actually had, ED-NOS, did not exist at the time.
When I was in a relationship with a married woman, it was very important to me (and her) that I be referred to as “her wife”.
Now people want to know: are you gay? Bisexual? Straight? Post-gay? Ex-gay? Do you have an eating disorder? Are you fully recovered or still in recovery?
I’m with Paul when he says, “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”
All the former labels that were so important to me no longer matter.
I solely define myself as a Child of God.
That’s the core of what I’m saying today – our position is the same as John’s. If we are followers of Jesus, we are the beloved (favorites) of God.
If we lived out of that truth, that we are truly God’s favorite, our lives would be changed forever.
The question I want to leave you with today is this: do you treat yourself as if you are a cherished, precious possession of an all-powerful, all-loving God?
Do you live in and walk out that truth?
Come back next week to hear more 🙂