I was never the teacher’s pet. There was little chance of that! Perhaps there is a place to claim on the top tier of most difficult, challenges, or painful, but never favorite. I’m not sure why that was, perhaps being patience, quietly sitting, and accepting what was presented were never my strengths! If good marks could be earned my teachers earned them in buckets with me!
As one who manages people I can now appreciate why teacher’s pets exist. Some people are just easier to manage. They listen well, accept feedback, and take on their assignments with a sparkle in their eyes. They also tend to delivery high quality on-time results. They fulfill one’s expectations, almost to the letter. If the individual involves has a personality that is compatible with one’s own then the combination is complete. A potential pet is born!
The opposite is equally true. Put someone on the scene that has a personality that grates against one’s own. Combine this with weak or poor performance, the inability to communicate clearly, and the tendency to not listen; well the outcome is easily predictable.
It is easy and natural to see where this can lead. Obviously Wisdom takes a different view. “Playing favorites is always a bad thing; you can do great harm in seemingly harmless ways.” (Proverbs 28.21)
The irony is that we assume that having favorites is only natural. They exist in every realm and across time and space. Even without conversation we know that God must have people that he likes better than others. We know that he must play favorites. Clearly his response will vary according to our behavior and merit.
There are those that God holds clear to his heart – David, the author of the Psalms, was one of them. At the same time the fact that you and I consistently do things for our own account does not mean we are not on God’s favorite list. In fact, quite the opposite! You and I are part God’s beloved. We are unique, special, and His children. Love abounds for all.