Skip to main content

Self-Righteous

Yesterday, I watched the "Blessed Life" with Robert Morris and found his take on the story of the prodigal son quite good. I may not always agree with his theology -- but, in this case, he hit the nail on the head with his analysis and comparison of the two brothers to the rest of us. Let's face it, some things never change!

The fact of the matter is that we often [as time goes on] take on a more righteous attitude about ourselves as we begin to think we have somehow that earned 'brownie points' for things we may have done for the Lord along the way. Let's remember that, the more we think of ourselves, the less we think of others.

The older son was clearly jealous over the way he perceived his father was favorably treating the younger brother (who had squandered his inheritance). He felt as though he had done no wrong and was always there for his father. As Christians, can we not sometimes take on the same mantle of self-righteousness?

Let's read the story: 

11-12 Then he said, “There was once a man who had two sons. The younger said to his father, ‘Father, I want right now what’s coming to me.’

12-16 “So the father divided the property between them. It wasn’t long before the younger son packed his bags and left for a distant country. There, undisciplined and dissipated, he wasted everything he had. After he had gone through all his money, there was a bad famine all through that country and he began to hurt. He signed on with a citizen there who assigned him to his fields to slop the pigs. He was so hungry he would have eaten the corncobs in the pig slop, but no one would give him any.

17-20 “That brought him to his senses. He said, ‘All those farmhands working for my father sit down to three meals a day, and here I am starving to death. I’m going back to my father. I’ll say to him, Father, I’ve sinned against God, I’ve sinned before you; I don’t deserve to be called your son. Take me on as a hired hand.’ He got right up and went home to his father.

20-21 “When he was still a long way off, his father saw him. His heart pounding, he ran out, embraced him, and kissed him. The son started his speech: ‘Father, I’ve sinned against God, I’ve sinned before you; I don’t deserve to be called your son ever again.’

22-24 “But the father wasn’t listening. He was calling to the servants, ‘Quick. Bring a clean set of clothes and dress him. Put the family ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. Then get a grain-fed heifer and roast it. We’re going to feast! We’re going to have a wonderful time! My son is here—given up for dead and now alive! Given up for lost and now found!’ And they began to have a wonderful time.

25-27 “All this time his older son was out in the field. When the day’s work was done he came in. As he approached the house, he heard the music and dancing. Calling over one of the houseboys, he asked what was going on. He told him, ‘Your brother came home. Your father has ordered a feast—barbecued beef!—because he has him home safe and sound.’

28-30 “The older brother stalked off in an angry sulk and refused to join in. His father came out and tried to talk to him, but he wouldn’t listen. The son said, ‘Look how many years I’ve stayed here serving you, never giving you one moment of grief, but have you ever thrown a party for me and my friends? Then this son of yours who has thrown away your money on whores shows up and you go all out with a feast!’

31-32 “His father said, ‘Son, you don’t understand. You’re with me all the time, and everything that is mine is yours—but this is a wonderful time, and we had to celebrate. This brother of yours was dead, and he’s alive! He was lost, and he’s found!’”

Luke 15:11-32 (MSG)

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Hate Speech

The amount of vitriol directed at President Trump seems to be unprecedented. At least, that is what those on the right seem to think. Of course, I remember plenty of criticism and hate speech hurled at President Obama during his time in office, as well. I don't think I really need to mention President George W. Bush, do I?

There has never been (in my lifetime) such a level of animosity between opposing viewpoints as I see in today's America. Democrats hurl murderous accusations against the Republicans for their healthcare proposals and those of a conservative view sling accusations of incompetence and hypocrisy back at them. Of course, either side is generally pretty good at documenting their accusations with freshly spun 'facts.'

No matter where you fit into the political spectrum, it is important to note that such contention is counter-productive. Whenever people react at the behest of their emotions, clear-headed and rational decisions are nowhere to be found. Moreo…

Dealing in Hope

My Uncle Carl died recently at the age of 102. Having lived a long life, he was well-liked and respected by many. I can't really say a lot about him, because I only started getting to know him these past few years. He was my father's older brother from a rather large family of 9 brothers and sisters and two adopted nephews. I can get a little sad when I think about my father's dwindling family. I have lived long enough to see all but one of the brothers and sisters pass. Of course, I must remember that for everything there is a season -- as the writer of Ecclesiastes so eloquently wrote.

I attended his funeral for the sake of those he has left behind. It was not about him; we celebrated his life while he was here whenever we saw him or he passed a milestone on his journey. It's about those left here. It's about the Gospel message. After all, for a Christian, isn't it really all about the Gospel? It's about being a dealer in hope. it's about eternity wit…

Happy July 4th!

Godliness makes a nation great,but sin is a disgrace to any people. -Proverbs 14:34 (NLT)

This brief post is designed to wish the reader the very happiest of July 4th holidays. Although we live in the most disturbing of times  -- which seem to have seen the decline of America into some immoral cesspool where everything goes and the sky is the limit for sinful behavior, I still feel the presence of God's people and hope the Church can rise to the occasion. The word 'repent' means to change one's mind or have some regret for a course that somebody has been on. America must repent from the course we've been on in order to survive and return to being a great nation. History is replete with accounts of once-great groups of people who have turned from God and faced dire consequences. Is it really God causing harm and suffering -- or is it the fact that we deny God's protection from the enemy when we choose to live outside of fellowship with Him? If we search our hear…