Merry Christmas Everyone!
I woke up yesterday with a very popular story i’n the bible ringing in my head. If you’ve been in church a while or know bible stories, there’s no way yo missed this one. It’s none other than the parable of the prodigal son.
For my readers who don’t know that story and as a refresher course for all us, Read: Luke 15:11-32.
Today I’m going to focus on a part of that story a lot of us pass over when we read the parable. It’s the part of the older brother. Verses 25-32 of that story focus entirely on the elders brothers reaction to the prodigal son’s return.
Now let’s bring his responses home and see how we are doing.
A ‘bad’ boy/girl gives his/her life to Christ. You saw it happen.All of a sudden, every testimony Sunday,this person has a testimony of how God has been so awesome and has done this and that and how he/she now realizes it is sweet to know Jesus. Meanwhile you’ve been born again since age 5 , never strayed, walked the straight and narrow and yet you’ve been praying the same prayer point that this bad boy/girl turned Christian just testified about for 10 years.
You get jealous. or let me say it nicely, you feel bad.
You avoid prayer,God starts to seek you out. In response you rant and rave and tell God He’s not being fair.
Who’s been there? I have. Too many times to count. I think I was going down that road again this week so God used this parable to call me to order-again.
God said to me, the same thing the father in the parable said to the elder brother. Read with me: My son,’ the father said, ‘you are always with me, and everything I have is yours. 32 But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’”-Luke 15:31-32 (NIV)
Can you see it? Okay, Let me break it down.
Dear lifelong/long term Christian who is getting jealous of the new convert who seems to be getting all the blessings, Listen:
You have ALWAYS been God’s child. You have always had access to everything that belongs to Him. Everything you need and want He can and will give to you. It’s your inheritance anyway, but you have to ask.
Do you notice that in that story,the elder brother never said he asked for anything and was refused. He got angry because he had an entitlement mentality. He did not receive because be did not ask.
I hear those of you saying,I have asked and asked, yet nothing.
We all know by now that there are a myriad of reasons why this may be the case. That’s the subject of another post entirely.
I’ll end today’s post with something I heard/read somewhere that completely applies here.
The reason you’re upset over the fact that someone else has something you’re praying for is because you unconsciously think that it means that they are depriving you of something you deserve.
Listen God has more than enough blessings for all of us. Our requests cannot bankrupt heaven’s storehouse.
And he gives to each of us according to His will.
So I’m checking my heart this season to flush out all traces of the elder brother syndrome hanging out there.
Who’s with me?