Biased Love

Sunday School Lesson Summary – September 6, 2020

Biased love, especially among children in the family unit, can conjure a spirit of hatred, jealousy, and envy that result in discord and resentment in a family for generations.  Such is the story of Joseph and his brothers. Joseph’s father, Jacob was no stranger to biased love. He was raised in a home where favoritism appears to have been the primary parenting skill–Jacob was Rebekah’s favorite and Essau was Issac’s. Their biased love resulted in deception, resentment and alienation between these twin brothers that would last for generations.  

Joseph the 11th child was born to Jacob’s favorite wife Rachel when he was 90. Jacob made no secret that Joseph was the favorite of his 12 sons. To accentuate his biased love, Jacob makes Joseph a coat of many colors.  In addition to being his father’s favorite, God chooses Joseph and gives him two dreams. Joseph interprets the dreams, and in essence, announces to his family that in the future, he would have authority over them.  Speaking of pouring salt in an open a wound!  Joseph’s brothers then plot to kill him, but his brother, Reuben intervenes. Instead, they sell Joseph to a caravan of merchants. Joseph ends up in Egypt, later saving his family from starvation.  

A human success story or one may ask, was this God’s plan?  God did tell Joseph’s great-grandfather Abraham that his family would sojourn in Egypt for 400 years. Afterall had it not been for Joseph brothers’ action he would not have ended up in Egypt. 

God’s sovereign plan and purpose moved forward under His guiding hand. God is always in control. God saw the fulfillment of Joseph’s dreams and the blessing he would be to his brothers. Perhaps, favoritism made Joseph a brat and he needed to be taught humility before God could use him as planned. God gives us gifts to glorify Him, not ourselves.  Do you think Joseph’s plight would have been the same had he kept his dream interpretation to himself?  A thought from Proverbs 2:1 “Discretion shall preserve thee; understanding shall keep thee.”  

Disciples of Christ cannot practice biased love. No one benefits from such behavior. All parties suffer in some way,  at some point.  Biased love leads to a spirit of resentment, jealousy, envy, and discord in the family unit, even in the household of faith.  God is love and shows personal favoritism to no man (Gal. 2:6).  He commands His disciples to love as He loved us (He died for the good, the bad, and the ugly). What encouraging word can you give to someone who is experiencing biased love from a parent, sibling or family member? How would you respond to someone who practices biased love within the household of faith? 

-Sis. Joan Graves