Capt. Ross Pospisil
Favorites. We all know who they are in the unit. They seem to always get the ear of the CO. They seem to do no wrong. They get extra slack or the cool missions. They can be the source of a lot of our bitterness.
Let’s be honest, we are just as guilty. We have favorites too. However, this is not inherently wrong. There are always going to be people we gravitate naturally towards. This is human nature. “Favorites” are the by-product of biases. Our brains are hardwired to form biases. They help us to interpret the world around us at a second’s glance. In a fire fight these biases can save our lives. They can mean the difference between shooting first or being shot. In our units, relationships, and teams these biases can be dangerous if left unchecked. They can destroy unity and the bonds that hold us close.
James 2:1-13 speaks directly to this topic. James’ words are strong in verse 9, “If you show favoritism, you sin and are convicted by the law as lawbreakers.”
Welp…(gulp)...Don’t you just love how the truth of scripture cuts to the core? James does not mince words. Why is James able to so definitively call this a sin? He begins in verse 5 demonstrating that God looks not at the outward adornment of man, but at the heart. If God does not discriminate and provide preferential treatment as a result of a man’s wealth then why should we (verses 1-4)?
Perhaps our bias is not toward the wealthy. Is it towards those who share our same interests? Share our same background? Our same race? Our same faith? The list goes on... It is not wrong to be drawn to people we have things in common with or connect with naturally. These are things to be celebrated! However, are we also celebrating our differences? When celebrated, these are things that develop the strongest bonds. These bonds can be the difference between mission accomplishment and failure. Ultimately, these bonds will allow us to glorify God to the fullest in our relationships.
It doesn’t matter if we are the guy at the unit with the most seniority and greatest authority or the guy straight out of bootcamp. We are called as Christ followers to treat everyone with dignity and respect. Let’s band together to fight against favoritism. Let’s band together to obey God’s word in all areas of our life.