Over the course of my life I have met people who felt comfortable enough with me to share details about events in their life. I know a woman who chatted with me for hours and I’ll be honest it really felt like a one way conversation; mostly from her end. I listened quietly and sensed that all she needed in that moment was a listening ear.
Scripture tells us to take every thought captive so I had to reflect on my initial judgment of that woman because it was wrong. I’m reminded of the story of the two brothers in Luke 15:11-32 which is more commonly known as the parable of the prodigal son. We know the story by now. Son wants his share of wealth and wants to explore the world. Dad lets him leave. He squanders his wealth but returns feeling ashamed. However, dad forgives him and throws a big party. On the other hand there is the part about the older brother who was dutiful to dad during the younger brother’s hiatus into the unknown. Older brother wasn’t too pleased about dad’s quickness to forgive. He felt dad owed him a party for being the “good son” and dad was rewarding bad behavior.
My book “Grace in Adversity’ explores this dynamic in detail and the story is as relevant today as ever before. I was the older brother. The dutiful one. I used to be that person who would look at others and say, at least I am not like them, or God owes me because I have been nothing but good. How foolish I was. Thank God for where I am today, for how He has delivered me from that legalistic mindset. Let me invite you to check your heart and ask God to help free you from every form of legalism so that you can be more empathetic with individuals that He brings your way, both believers and non-believers.
Book readers, Check out my book on Amazon, and I would love to hear from you after you read it.