Tuesday, August 2, 2011

The Prodigal God

I am reading a book called The Prodigal God by Timothy Keller. It goes into the story of the Prodigal Son but hits on both brothers instead of just one and explains things about both brothers and what God is trying to show us with this story.
I read a sentence that really stood out to me. He is talking about the elder brother and relating it to the "elder brothers" of the world. He says that the younger brother in the story knew that he was alienated from the father, but the elder brother did not. The younger brother came home expecting to beg for forgiveness and admit he had done wrong. The elder brother thought he had done nothing wrong and did not feel that he needed to ask for forgiveness for anything. Elder brothers in the world do not go to God and ask for forgiveness or healing for their condition. They do not see anything that they are doing wrong and find nothing wrong with their "condition".
The sentence that stood out to me was this, "If you know you are sick you may go to a doctor; if you don't know you're sick you won't - you'll just die." (page 66).
Think about that...not just as a physical sickness or not just as needing a physical healing, but spiritually speaking. If we know that we need to be cured from sickness, disgust, sin, hurt, pain....we go to the doctor, to God...to heal us from all of that. BUT, if we don't know that we even have a problem, if we think we are going along in life with no problems...being "good people", doing "good deeds" and living a "good life", then we see no need to go to the doctor, when, from what I've read and know, there is only one person who has walked this earth with complete wholeness and without sickness and sin and that is Jesus Christ.
We all have "sickness". We all have sin from murder or the mere simplicity of not asking God into our lives and living our lives without the Holy Spirit guiding us. We all slip from "perfectness" sometimes even as strong Christians. We have sin. We all sin. YES...EVERYDAY.
If we DO NOT know we are sick, if we are going about thinking we have done no wrong, then we are living with a sickness that is going to kill us.
Think deep with me for a minute....think spiritually and not physically...we are sick and going to die if we do not realize that we are sick.
Let's avoid being "elder brothers", and if we are elder brothers (and I think we may all carry some characteristics of an elder brother and a younger brother sometimes), let's realize that we are NOT PERFECT PEOPLE, and let's go to the doctor and get help before we die.
Good and easy book to read.

Trying to not be an elder brother in life,