Why does God allow my stepfather to show favoritism to others?
A thirteen-year-old girl was very bitter toward her stepfather. She believed that he showed favoritism toward others in the family. He also displayed anger toward her on many occasions, which hurt her deeply. One day she decided to run away to her birth father or, if she was unsuccessful in doing that, she would kill herself.
At that point, she was challenged to write a list of reasons why God would allow her to be in a family with a stepfather who showed favoritism to others. On her own, she came up with twenty-one reasons why God may have allowed this to happen.
This project transformed her attitudes. A week later, she was invited to read and explain each of the points to a large group; her stepfather was in that group of people. As he saw his stepdaughter responding to family pressures from God’s point of view, tears came to his eyes.
Here are the reasons she listed:
- To teach me to lean on God’s unconditional love
- To teach me humility by serving those who reject me
- To teach me meekness by realizing that what I “unjustly” receive from others will always be less than the punishment I deserve
- To help me build true sincerity in my life by looking to God for praise
- To help me give forgiveness and love to those who reject me, in the same way Jesus loved those who rejected Him (He did not get bitter.)
- To help me begin investing my life in that which brings eternal rewards
- To help me learn true security by structuring my life around things that will not change or be taken away from me
- To cause me to evaluate needs and weaknesses in my character
- To allow the Lord to become a “Father to the fatherless” in meeting emotional, spiritual, or physical needs in my life
- To help me rejoice in all circumstances and to praise the Lord
- To make me alert to the emotional needs of others
- To help me realize the difference between “rights” and “expectations”
- To help me understand more fully the sacrifice that Jesus made for me on the cross when I rejected Him
- To help me experience more of God’s sufficient grace
- To prepare me for leadership in God’s kingdom through suffering
- To remind me to pray for my father and other authorities
- To test my motives and attitudes as I obey my authorities
- To motivate me to cry out to God
- To demonstrate God’s desire for me to draw closer to Him
- To bring me new insights from Scripture
- To give me an opportunity to “return good for evil” by investing in the lives of my father and siblings
This testimony is found in A Comprehensive Course in Effective Counseling, Booklet Five, pages 4–5.