Wednesday, April 25, 2012

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When you have three children, of course only one can be the first, and that one becomes to the others the measuring stick for all privileges, all fairness, and all comparisons.

Now, in our family, our daughter is the oldest. The three kids would be getting along perfectly one day, and then suddenly the boys would learn about something their big sister got. Then I would hear the march of determined feet to my desk, and then those words, "How come she gets to...?"

Then the rest would be whatever they were comparing. They would discuss whatever blessing she had gotten that they had not. Actually knowing that kind of question was coming helped me make better decisions. It could help you too.

I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "The Splitter-Upper."

Our word for today from the Word of God comes from Genesis 27:45. We're reading about Rebekah, the mother of two boys - Jacob and Esau. Those two boys are very much against each other at this point. The older, Esau, has a tremendous grudge and even an urge to kill his younger brother, Jacob. And now Rebekah says to her younger son, "When your brother is no longer angry with you and forgets what you did to him, I'll send word for you to come back." He's going to have to be sent many miles away. "Why should I lose both of you in one day?"

Man! She says, "I'm losing both of my sons." She's sending Jacob away for his own safety; Esau wants to kill him. How did they get in this mess? Well, Jacob's Mom and he have tricked Father, Isaac, into giving Jacob Esau's blessing. How did this family end up with all this hatred and conflict, deceit between a husband and wife, and a mother who's physically losing one son and emotionally losing the other?

The answer: the splitter-upper. In Genesis 25 it says at the boys' early ages, "The boys grew up, and Esau became a skillful hunter, a man of the open country, while Jacob was a quiet man, staying among the tents. Isaac, who had a taste for wild game, loved Esau, but Rebekah loved Jacob."

Did you get it? Here are two godly people who fell into the trap that divides parents from children, children from parents, employees and employers, spiritual leaders and the people they're trying to lead. It's the word partiality. It's the great splitter-upper. When my sons were asking, "How come she gets to...?" they were forcing me to take a partiality check. "Am I showing favoritism here?" It inevitably leads to conflict, bitterness, getting even, and loss of respect for the person who's been partial.

If you're a parent, you just can't afford to choose between your children. If you're a son or a daughter, you can't afford to pick one parent to be close to and the other one to kind of freeze out or ignore. In spiritual leadership you can't afford to get close to one person over another. If people work for you, you've got to treat them the same.

There's a natural attraction - a natural compatibility - sometimes between one or the other, but it can never be the basis for relationships. Rebekah lost both the insider and the outsider in her love game. You'll lose too if you fall into the favoritism trap. It's just way too expensive!

Partiality? It's the great splitter-upper.

            

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Ron Hutchcraft Ministries
P.O. Box 400
Harrison, AR 72602-0400

(870) 741-3300
(877) 741-1200 (toll-free)
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