Thursday, July 23, 2015

Golden Child?

Some families have what I like to call a “Golden Child.”

This is the individual who, from the perspective of the parents and/or grandparents, can do no wrong, and is clearly the favorite.

Whether their being singled out for special regard is intentional or not, it usually doesn’t bode well for ingratiating the “Golden Child” with the rest of the family. We clearly see the outcome of such favoritism in the story of Joseph and his brothers (Genesis 37).

I don’t believe special status and treatment can be lost on the “Golden Child.” Perhaps sometimes it is and they truly are oblivious to it. More often than not, however, they know full well that they have an “in” with mom or dad or grandma and grandpa that others do not. And they often can’t help but relish their exalted status.

In order to maintain their good standing, many “Golden Children” never make the attempt to positively point mom or dad or grandma or grandpa back to the other siblings or cousins, and fail to put in a good word for them. Instead, they bask in the fact that they are held in higher esteem than others.

We as Christians are not to act like or nominate ourselves the “Golden Child.”

While we are to be confident in our standing as beloved children of God (Proverbs 3:5-6, Ephesians 3:11-12), we are never to feel or think we are superior to others (Philippians 2:3). God loves all and desires that none perish (2 Peter 3:9). Unlike human parents and grandparents, God shows no partiality (Romans 2:11, Acts 10:34).

We are to always live in humble gratefulness for God’s love, acceptance and adoption (Colossians 2:6-7), and pray for those who have not come into the knowledge of God (Luke 10:2), though God loves them the same as He loves Christians (John 3:16).

We are not to disparage non-Christians amongst our Christian family, but love everyone (Mark 12:31). 

We are not to accommodate worldliness in anyone (Romans 12:2, Galatians 6:1, James 5:19-20), but feel burdened by it and follow God’s lead as to how to Biblically interact in relationships. We are to sincerely desire that everyone be in the family of God and not jealousy covet our position to their exclusion.

As a maturing member of the Body of Christ, we are to point all, Christian and non-Christian alike, to the Triune God and ask God in prayer to bless others with His grace and matchless mercy. In this we harbor no resentments, but instead join with God in the desire that all be saved, believing that no one is beyond His reach (Romans 12:10-13, 2 Peter 3:9).

A mature Christian stands on the foundation of Christ humbly (Colossians 2:6-7), and deliberately avoids a foundation of human favoritism (1 Corinthians 3:1-3, James 2:1-4, 1 Timothy 5:21).

A mature Christian does nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility values others above themselves (Philippians 2:3).

A mature Christian remembers their status as sinner; yes, redeemed, but sinner nonetheless (Romans 3) and is careful that, in our attitudes and actions towards others, we ourselves do not fall (1 Corinthians 10:12).

copyright Barb Harwood

“Brothers and sisters, stop thinking like children. In regard to evil be infants, but in your thinking be adults.” 1 Corinthians 14:20

“So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip his people for works of service, so that the Body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.
Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming. Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ.” Ephesians 4:11-15

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