The prodigal son is one of the most popular stories in the Bible. We talk about it a lot in Young Life to communicate the idea of coming home to God.
We all know the story, the younger brother leaves his father and goes off on his own to live a life of sin, a life that he thinks will make him happy. The son runs out of all of his money, sleeps in a pigpen, and finally decides to go home, where his father embraces him like none of it ever happened. YAY! Party time! But not for everybody.
While the big reunion was happening, the older son was out in the field working. When he came back to the house, one of the servants told him his brother had returned and his father was pulling out all the stops to celebrate his coming home. The older brother was ticked and he yelled at his father saying:
“All these years I’ve been slaving for you and never disobeyed your orders. Yet you never gave me anything. But when this son of yours who has squandered your property with prostitutes comes home, you throw him a party!’
But the father replied:
“My son, you are always with me, and everything I have is yours. But we had to celebrate and be glad, because your brother was dead and is alive again; he was lost and now is found.”
Everyone’s walk with Christ is different. Some people are the older brother, the faithful and the loyal, holding steadfast to the gospel and hanging onto the promise that is our inheritance in Christ. Some people are the younger brother, the fickle and wavering, those who leave and come back time and time again. And the father loves them both equally.
We’re all just chasing after God the only way we know how. It’s not always pretty and it’s not always the same as our neighbor, but it is always good. So don’t compare your walk with others because none is better than the other. Each journey is novel and beautiful and tremendous, because of the direction we are going: towards God.
Centennial YL Leader
This blog is operated by the Young Life Leaders at the University of Illinois & Parkland. A different leader will post daily over winter break. Our hope is to push each other to grow, & to love Jesus more.
Feel free to write your thoughts or encouragements back in the comments at the bottom!