God’s favour was once explained to me as a kind of serendipitous blessing He gives when He is particularly pleased with a Christian person, and wants to make life a little easier for them and let them know they are loved. Favour, to my understanding, meant nailing that business deal, dodging the cancer bullet, even finding that very last parking spot close to the door of the hospital or shopping centre.
Then, a few things happened to me which nobody would’ve considered to be God’s favour, even though I did everything they said to do (pray, believe you deserve favour, be a Christian in the first place). And I came to see a few things.
Very often, the same circumstances I considered to be “favour” were actually a disaster (or at the very least, an inconvenience) for someone else. When I got an opportunity ahead of someone else, that someone else missed out, and I didn’t really care about that. When my test results came back clear, I never spared a thought for all those whose hadn’t. When I got that convenient parking spot, it never occurred to me the person I beat to it may have needed it more than I did.
And I also noticed the great things which happened to me also frequently happened to others who didn’t know God and weren’t Christians. They sealed great business deals too, and received terrific breaks and opportunities. I noticed in most cases these came because of hard work, creativity, courage, persistence, talent, integrity, relationship and building on past successes.
Or maybe God just loves everyone, and gives His favour to just anyone He’s pleased with, not just Christians?
In any case, I began to wonder why I’d want to bypass hard work, creativity, courage, persistence, talent, integrity, relationship and building on past successes to get something because of something called “favour”, and whether I really appreciated the great thing I had if I got it without using those things first anyway.
The biggest change happened once I realised fully what it’s like when things don’t miraculously go your way, even when you pray and ask God very nicely could things please, please be okay or I don’t know how on earth I’m going to cope. I now knew how it felt to have a failed business and a cancer diagnosis, and it didn’t feel very nice. And when I understood what it really feels like when you don’t seem to be God’s favourite, I stopped asking God to favour me with ease and success, and I began to search out in my everyday life the kinds of people who didn’t seem to be God’s favourite either, to see if I could help them out.
And I discovered when I did help others out, even in some small way, that person felt God smiling on them.
And it was then I began to understand what God’s favour really is.