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Does God Play Favorites?

    Does God Play Favorites

    Does God Play Favorites?

    This question, which came from a reader, is one that most of us have entertained at some point in our lives. We see others doing well, getting their prayers answered, and living happy and contented. Then we see our lives; we may not be doing that bad but it just not as good as others we see. Maybe you are in a hard marriage and your friends got a nice supportive spouse. Maybe you have a friend who died of cancer and others you know were healed. How come some people seem to have it better off than you?

    What Does the Bible Say?

    Romans 9 is a rough chapter for people who want to say God does not show favoritism. God declares his love for Jacob and hatred for Esau before either one of them was born. God says He raised Pharaoh up so He could display His power.

    These are negative examples, but what about John? Why was he the one that Jesus loved? Why did Abraham get singled out to become the father of nations? Why was Gideon picked to save Israel? Why was Moses saved from the killing of infants?

    Officially, the Bible says God does not show favoritism (Romans 2:11). However in this context Paul says this to convey that anyone who does evil will reap evil and anyone who does good will reap good. The question remains to the extent of what you receive from God.

    There is an interesting account between Jesus and Peter after Jesus’ resurrection (John 21:18-23). Jesus starts to tell Peter the kind of death he would have. Peter turns, sees John, and questions Jesus if John was going to have to go through such suffering. Jesus basically answered what’s that to you.

    Questions Regarding Favoritism Reveals Our Own Insecurities

    The point Jesus was making was don’t bother yourself about someone else’s relationship with Me. Jesus just wants us to follow Him. “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion”, but also know that “I reward faith” (Romans 9:15Hebrews 11:6).

    You can trust that His will for you is good, pleasing and perfect (Romans 12:2). If we get our eyes off other people, we will see that God is good to us. Other people may experience Him differently, but we get as much of God as we want. He does not withhold His goodness from us. We can be thankfully in every circumstance because He loves us with an everlasting love (1 Thessalonians 5:18Jeremiah 31:3).

    Does God Play Favorites?

    He treats us all differently because we are all created differently. Should He treat you the same as the person down the street? No. They are not the same person as you. They don’t have the same calling and destiny. We are to love God with all that we were given. We are to glorify Him the way we were specifically created. You will minister to God’s heart like no one else because there is no one like you.

    Just rest assured that you can always enjoy more of God. The path is simple. Draw near to Him and He will draw near to you (James 4:8).

    Does God play favorites? I tend to say no, but I don’t really care. I do know that He loves me more than I can already handle and that’s enough for me. I also know He will never introduce me to anyone He doesn’t love as much as me and that motivates me.

    • If you would like more help on seeing God is good when life doesn’t seem to be fair, check out Craig Groeschel’s book: Hope in the Dark.

    41 thoughts on “Does God Play Favorites?”

      1. My experience is that he plays favorites as well. He certainly is not the all-loving God that is portrayed in the scriptures. He babies some, and could care less if others suffer and die. Not exactly someone I want to live with in the hereafter. If Satan is awful, the hypocrite who calls himself “God” is not a much better alternative.

        1. Dear Kevin,
          I appreciate your sentiment. It is very hard to determine what people are thinking and the reasons they do things. It is harder to understand God’s reasoning when it comes to what we can see. I’m not going to make a rationale for you to believe like me, but I will mention how I come to grips with this. There are some people that seem to do well and others that seem to suffer, and it doesn’t seem to be based on who is good or who is bad. I just understand that each person is loved by God and sometimes He allows life to happen. There is evil in this world, and there are people who enjoy doing bad things. There are also people that are greedy and do things at the expense of others. It is terrible, but it happens. Just because it does happen, I don’t assume that God wants it this way. In my experience He has loved everybody I have seen Him interact with. In those areas that I don’t understand, I choose to believe He is loving them too. Thank you for sharing. I understand that is a hard feeling to overcome.

          1. God is said to have created everything. He is said to be omnipotent. So if he is all powerful and all knowing, why create Lucifer if God knows he will rebel and try to take God’s creation down? Why not just wipe out all evil? is he unwilling or just unable? if he is so loving why does hear some people’s prayers and not others? In the bible he is responsible for almost all deaths that are told about. If humanity is made in his image then by your own words as some people are greedy then he must be also. If some people are evil then he must be also for he literally created evil. I have a very hard time believing God is a just and loving God. Holes can be shot into an argument about him. Why believe when all you is crap all around you?

            1. Dear Gary,
              Thank you for the comment. I understand that others view as you do and assume God created evil and also must evil to some degree. This blog is not meant to convince you otherwise, but to help you understand where I’m coming from I will try to explain a bit. Everyone has the chance to experience all of the love of God that they want. Evil entered the world not because God wasn’t loving, but because man had a choice to love or to not to love. Without that choice it wouldn’t really be love. If He were to wipe out all evil, all choice would be gone – and most people for that matter. He didn’t create humans to wipe them out, so He is allowing time for them to choose love before they choose eternity apart from God. The more we pursue the love of God, the more we are open to experience His love. I wish you the best in your journey.

            2. It helps if you see God as a deity, who created the universe and all that is in it, created and set evolution in motion. There is probably abundant life in the universe. Do I believe that God gives a crap about what goes on here on earth or you or me. I do find it interesting though, that some people do seem to have some kind of an edge in life and live out their lives with abundance, huge success and minimal bad luck. I think a lot of it has to do with their beginnings and/or family input/support; even some successful people who were poor had great family and/or family support. I have come to the conclusion that you have to look out for yourself, don’t trust people, most are out to screw you or at least get something from you. Try to live your life within society’s confines and rules even though unfairness is the norm. The universe will screw you every chance it gets so tread lightly through life.

              1. Dear Dee,

                I appreciate your comments. If you don’t believe in God portrayed in the Bible, I can see how you can come to that conclusion. Survival will always lead us to look out for ourselves, which will often mean we don’t care about how it affects others. I really haven’t found most people (God-fearing or not) are really that selfish, but I can see it from the reasoning you gave.


      2. god most certainly does play favorites. There are also a lot of things he doesn’t do as wel, like give a shit about kids dying of hunger. “oh, he cares! but people are bad and the world is fallen!” It’s always everyone else’s fault, never god’s. He plays his little chess game with satan at our expense and invites calamity into our lives to grind us into dust.

        I think people are justified in hating god. I believe in god and jesus christ. I also hate them both with a passion. he’s let me down numerous times, and I see no reason to serve or humble myself before such an impotent god who calls himself sovereign yet turns his ears to the cries of dying children. He’s a sado-masochistic, arrogant being who loves blessing the shittiest people imaginable on the planet, yet inviting calamity into the lives of his followers in order to make some moronic point that only he understands. We’re simply worthless pawns in his chess battle with lucifer.

        Save your time, enjoy life and live for yourself. why serve a god out of fear of hellfire and be manipulated in such a way?

        1. Dear Ken,

          Normally I delete comments that don’t show that they even read the post, but I understand you wanting a place to vent. I assume that there is probably more that you could also share. I hope you can find peace because anger is never fun to live with, even if it’s toward what you assume is an impotent God.

          I wish you well in life.

      3. Ken raises good points that even Christians can’t even agree on how to approach. God does play favorites and most believers are too afraid to admit it. They are blinded with “the word” and again, this being something no two preachers will agree on. Equality and God are mutually exclusive. A simple example is that of professional athletes who claim to be Christian. Question; if it’s God’s “will” for someone to be an elite NFL quarterback worth millions of dollars, then can it also not be God’s will for someone to be a cashier for the rest of their lives and struggle from paycheck to paycheck to survive?

        Do not try to dodge the question with feelings. Responses such as, “why would God want someone to do this for the rest of their lives”, is dodging the question. It’s a simple yes or no answer.


        1. Dear Brian,
          Ken’s question was why serve a god out of fear of hellfire and be manipulated in such a way? I didn’t answer this questions because this was not what the blog post was about. In fact I have never insinuated in anything I have written that people should serve God out of fear of hell. I believe people should serve God because you serve the people you love and who love you. I had no reason to believe from his comment that he had read anything I had written besides the title of this post.

          You obviously read the comments, but in the post I wrote something very similar to your question about God’s will for one to be an elite NFL quarterback and the other person who is a cashier.

          Just so you know, I don’t write these to influence non-Christians, however, you are welcome to read to see what some Christians think. I’m not trying to sway your ideology, only help those how are looking for more of God. Hope that helps you.

          I wish you the best.


        This is something that I’m struggling with right now . I just graduated with a professional degree. I worked really hard during those years but yet I find myself struggling financially and currently unemployed. I have a peer who attended the same school, earned the same degree, but within a 4 months period she married the love her life and has an excellent career. We attend the same church. I’m a member and she’s not. Yet she constantly judges me from not trusting God or being positive all the time. If I was in her position I would have all the faith in the world. I can’t help but to question God as to why ? I would rather just die than to continue to struggle to no avail . Yes things could be worse but why should I b satisfied with the bread crumbs that God gives me when he gives others a entire loaf?

        1. Thank you for sharing your current struggles. It is never easy when you see others pass you by for no apparent reason. It’s worse when you know some of their faults, yet they still succeed past you. There is a story in John 22 (I think) where Jesus explains to Peter the type of death he would have. Peter freaks out and points to John and asks, “what about him?” Jesus’ response applies to all of us. “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what’s that to you? Follow me.” God has us all on different plans. He knows what we need and what we are created for. Will we still pursue and follow Him when we don’t like the way things are going? I pray that you not only find a job soon, but you find one that brings you joy, challenges you to grow, and pays well. Rejoice with your peer. Don’t let envy set foot in your heart. But, contend and pray for those things you desire from God.

          Hope this helps.

        2. Life isn’t fair. Some of us are born with special talents, a voice or abilities for sports or just looks for that matter. If a woman is really pretty, she doesn’t need a college education; she can easily latch on to a successful man. Even sluts who work in men’s clubs often end up with successful husbands. Women who are not that attractive need to accept the fact that life will be harder for them and they will have to earn whatever they get through hard work and perseverance. Call me a pessimist, but this is what I have observed.

          1. Dear Dee,

            Thank you for commenting again. As more of an optimist myself, I pray that people will start surprising you with kindness. I pray that good luck will follow you from unexpected raises to finding money to being let off with warnings instead of tickets.


      5. I truly feel that God, unfortunately shows favoritism. As parents, we are expected to treat our children fairly, I would certainly expect God to do the same. I have experienced and observed many people in my life who have been blessed beyond words and then my family, along with other good families I know who have had to endure such tragedies and a constant feeling of God “taking his foot and shoving us back under the water when we feel like we have come up for air.” No, it’s not fair, but I keep trying to convince myself that those of us who are having to live a life of hell on Earth will have a special place in Heaven, and those of you who live your Heaven on Earth…good luck to you getting into Heaven for eternity!

        1. Dear Debbie,
          Thank you for your comment. I understand how you can feel this way. Be careful that your interpretation doesn’t hinder you form hearing God’s viewpoint on the matter. Things may not be as they seem.

      6. Kevin I see your last post was in September so I hope u are still available on this subject. I’ve been a believer for 30 years trusting God through everything good and bad. Recently this favoritism came to play in our lives so vividly that it shook my trust in him like never before. Where do I go from here? Trust is the basis for our relationship with God through Jesus. What to do we do if we struggle with trusting that God has good for us after seeing this favoritism play out and hurting us.

        1. Dear Jean,

          Thank you for your question. What are your thoughts to the points mentioned in the post? The point was not to argue God plays favorites, but that He does treat us all differently. He loves us where we are at and He wants to connect with us each individually. He longs for our attention and to speak to us. The best way to overcome any feelings that God is playing favorites over you, is to thank Him for the goodness He surrounds you with each day. The more you see His goodness, the less you notice what He is not presumably doing for you.


      7. Thanks Kevin. I did read the post and have read it again. I know the verses well and have Klinged to them. My thoughts on yiur post is It is honest and supported by the Word. I know we also can hurt ourselves by relying on our own perception rather than the truth. I have 2 children. As much as I love them both of course I treat them differently and I believe fairly. Even when I go out of my way to be fair and even they never think I’m fair. At the same time there is thst element of experience. I was walking very close to God. I was very grateful for our blessings and then at that very time when I was walking closely with him I feel like he disciplined me for something I did not do. I was not blaming him for playing favorites at all. When he gave us a blessing. But in the end it seemed to have a purpose simply to remind me that he is going to bless who he wants and that is just the way it is and I’m not to complain about it. My trust was shaken and I’m trying to get back to where I was. I’m trying to kling to the truth rather than my own perception. Like I said our perception can throw us off the truth and iike yiu mentioned so can comparing our circumstances to that of others. Your tboughts? Jean

      8. Does God play favorites? Without a doubt he does. I saw it for the 25 years I attended church. Some people always had everything handed to them, good looks, good job, loving family, money enough for 10 lifetimes, and nothing bad ever happened to them. Then there were others who suffered nothing but one misfortune after another. The special people would always say bad things were “God’s will,” the standard Christian cliche those who never suffer use to dismiss the unexplainable.

        Even in the Bible he played favorites. King David committed crimes that should have resulted in his execution (adultery and murder) but he begged God for forgiveness and all God did was kill his infant son, a child guilty of nothing but being David’s son. If this had been some commoner, that poor guy would have been executed without a second thought, as would the woman he had been with.

        I have struggled, clawed, and barely managed to survive this life. I am alone, suffer from constant depression and horrible loneliness. I have numerous medical conditions (none of which I did anything to cause, all are genetic or congenital) and what little I do have is no thanks to God. I had to fight for every bit of it.

        If God really does love all of us, how about he give me a few crumbs. I know he doesn’t care enough to give me any more than that, but I could do with just a crumb or two. Just something to make my life a little easier so I won’t always feel like death would be better than this existence. And for the record, I have no desire or intent to harm myself.

        1. Dear Kyle,

          Psalm 73 could be a helpful passage for you. Elijah felt similarly as well. Also Job. Paul despise life at one time (2 Cor 1 or 2). God’s ways are not like ours. He doesn’t see success the way we do. You want to please the Lord, then believe what He says over what you feel is true. You feel that He doesn’t care for you – choose to believe that you are a beloved son. Live life as if God can’t wait to bless you. When the blessings don’t come, choose to believe those are abnomallies. The truth is out of God’s abundant provisions, He lavishly blesses you. You have what you need to provide for your life. I understand it may be difficult at first. Grab a friend to walk this journey with you. Keep pressing in. Either the Bible is true, or God is a liar. Hold on to it being true, and it will come alive in every aspect of your life.


          1. God kill Saul and Johnathan for far less than David did which was adultery and murder. Saul tried showing compassion to his enemies but your God is so egotistical in killing the enemy and his people. Also in Jericho the israelites plunder the city killed everyone including children and babies
            The bible says the israelites are his chosen people if that’s not favoritism what is

            1. Greg,
              Thank you for your response. There are things that happen in the world that just don’t make sense sometimes and it does matter how we chose to view it. Abraham was a man of faith that found pleasure in God’s sight. In response, God favored his descendants, the Israelites. What did the Israelites do to deserve such affection? Oftentimes they did things that repulsed God. But, God kept His favor on them for His love of Abraham.

              The opposite is true sometimes. A people can do such wickedness that God brings judgment on an entire city. Sodom and Gommorrah are completely destroyed. Jericho is similar.

              If our focus is on the outcome and are not willing to trust in God’s goodness in the matter, it will turn us away from God. We say, I don’t understand how that can be good, so God must be evil. We don’t see all that is going on. This is not meant to be a proof of any kind. Faith can not always be justified. It is choice some are willing to take.

      9. The only thing I can say is this: If our brain is as small as a soda can and God’s brain is as big as the ocean, how can you think, you can scoop all the ocean in your little can? Aren’t we arrogant to think, we can control God? We human? We who are food/sleep dependent being? If I can control & understand God, what an insignifant God that would be. I’m glad God is who He is! When you got your own universe you can make your own standard!

      10. Glad to have found this post. I think I have surpassed the space of sadness or anger and am now content with my perspective of I do feel that God has his favorites. I just think you have to learn how to live your own life because it will never really be answered why he does. My cousin can’t phantom why I feel that way, which led me to your post originally, to really research it. I guess He has his reasons but it does take a lot of strength to say you know what, I trust that You gave this person this and not me even though I’ve prayed and worked for it. It really does. Thanks for sharing.

        1. Dear Tiffany,
          It is tough to trust God’s goodness when He gives someone else that thing you have been asking Him for. Our belief in His goodness is not by judging every circumstance that comes at us, but a deep seated belief that is secured by the residing presence of God in us. I know that it appears at times that God is playing favorites, but I also know that there is nobody God loves more than He loves you. He loves your hair. He loves your smile. He loves your devotion to Him. He is particularly fond of you. I pray that all of us becoming completely convinced of this.

      11. To be honest, I personally feel that God does play favorites but after a logical conversation in my mind I was confused. Mind says he does and heart says he doesn’t. Well here is my thought in this – If he plays favorites then I believe he is not eligible for the post of the god. Let me clarify easily “the god is like good parents who doesn’t play favorites between their 2-3 kids they will take care all of them in the same manner but the way of taking care of each kid is different.” The problem is are mindset and the way of our thinking and judging other ones around. I used to think about that why is that kid having Ferrari and I am here? Why I didn’t born in that huge palace? Why I cannot have the luxurious life? And many other things? But at the same time I have seen people who are living with one time food in the table or sometimes without it. Someone really is happy without one leg or one hand. It’s all about jealousy. Later I found out that every problem in our life is an opportunity to come out from the comfort zone that we are living in. You cannot achieve great things just lying on the bed and thinking. You have to get up and do something every day. Your hard work will pay off surely but not according to your plan that’s all. Your life is given by the god so he will give you enough strength to come across any problem in your life. Miracle will happen someday and you will find your peace but for that you have to believe in him that he will not let me down at any stage of my life. You have to create a trust with him every day and he will be there for you when you need him the most.
        Pls correct me if I am wrong I am just 29 and I have experienced some of the things.

        1. Dear Mohit,
          I think you address the major issue we have when we feel God is playing favorites and that is our jealousy of what other people have (or better yet, what we think other people have). True peace comes from contentment in the Lord. As we spend time with Him and see how much He loves us, we stop think about whether He has His favorites and just enjoy His love of us.

      12. Boy you certainly demeaned and dodged Ken’s post..I have to agree with a lot of what Ken said. You get to the point when you realize that God has abandoned you..You do this best you can, but for god its not god enough, hence he builds a hedge for some of the most selfish, criminal, narcistic people on the planet…nothing happens to them…they get away with it, just like the illegal alien in san francisco who shot Kate steinle in cold blood…we are suppose to just set there in our lives and say ” its gods will”…I believe in God but I think he really plays favorites, which is sad

        1. There are two different discussions, does God play favorites and why does God allow evil in the world. You assume in your comment that God wanted Kate Steinle to be shot. I don’t know this story or what happened, but I do know that God doesn’t want any to perish, but we do have an enemy that wants us all to die. People have a choice of who they want to follow or if they will do good/harm to others. There are people who claim to follow God and do harm, and there are people who don’t choose to follow God but are nicer, kinder than those that call themselves Christians. Most of us are some mix of good and bad decisions. To claim that consequences to bad decisions even if the consequences were for choices I didn’t make is God’s will is not what the Bible teaches.

      13. I was sad reading some of the comments on this post because some people are obviously carrying a lot of hurt. This was something I struggled with myself recently. A friend had been blessed with a loving husband-to-be, a good career and a beautiful home, while I was back at home with my parents and unemployed after a bad experience with an employer. Oh, and single. Naturally, I stamped my little foot and told God, in no uncertain terms, that I thought it just wasn’t fair.

        Then He spoke to my heart. He reminded me that it’s such an unfathomable blessing to have parents and a home you can go back to if things don’t work out. It’s a blessing to be single and have time to devote oneself to His affairs, even to think about religious life (which I am). My friend, sadly, doesn’t have earthly parents any more – but God, in His goodness, has provided her with a stable income, a home and her boyfriend who loves her. Why should I begrudge her those things? I was ashamed.

        He also revealed to me that the root cause of this covetousness (and let’s be honest, that’s what it is), is a symptom of idolatry – something other than Christ sitting on the throne of our lives. I would heartily recommend watching Tim Keller’s talk about counterfeit gods (he’s also written a book) on YouTube if anyone is struggling with this as I was.

        We also need to remember that the Gospel doesn’t promise health, wealth and prosperity – it promises righteousness, without which we’d all be on the receiving end of God’s anger, and quite rightly so. We need to remember that Jesus lived His earthly life in poverty and obscurity as a Palestinian peasant, and that He challenged us to take up our crosses and follow Him. Anyone who desires to be rich and successful in this life would probably benefit from reading the New Testament again *grin*.

        Most of the saints lived in abject poverty; many had their earthly lives cut short by disease or martyrdom. Yet they were the happiest people who ever lived. I don’t think that’s a coincidence.

        So yes, I agree with Kevin. God doesn’t play favourites, although it might seem like it when we have a worldly rather than eternal perspective. Every soul’s journey toward God is different. We mustn’t forget that God’s ways are not our ways. He desires our sanctification and we must always desire the Giver more than any gift He could give us in this life, because that would reduce our relationship with Him to a transactional level and He wants more than that. Let’s pray that He’ll change our hearts and help us to understand His ways. God bless!

        1. Thank you for your honesty in how you have dealt with this subject. I’m sure there are many who can relate to your journey.
          May His peace continually fill your heart in every way.

      14. I am seeking employment for 2 months now.there is rent to pay and i sent out endless resumes,praying everday,having faith and nothing is happening.i don’t know how I will survive this month.a simple job or financial help I can’t get from a god who can part a sea,raise the dead,and speak a world into life really worth this?

        1. Dear Joel,

          There are definitely times (always much too long) when it seems God is absent. Continue to hold on to your belief that God is good. I’m praying for you. May God surprise you with His unfailing love.


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