This post was originally published on JoeHoft.com. – we are republishing here with permission.

The following comes from the book: Loving, Blessing, and Being Aware of God’s Grace – available here. 

This story is on forgiveness:

In the Bible’s New Testament, there is a very famous parable told by Jesus known as the story of the prodigal son. In this story a young man with a rich father asked his father if he could have his share of his father’s property. The son, one of two, wanted his inheritance before his father died. I’m not sure if it was even customary for a son to ask for this. Certainly in today’s times this would not be an appropriate request of one’s father. I suspect it was the same in that time. Anyway, the father gave his son half of his property. He must have been a very giving father to do this.

The young man took his father’s money and began to spend it, blowing away his entire share of his father’s assets. He drank, spent the money on his friends, and had lots of fun. Eventually, the young man ran out of money and ended up working for a farmer in a pig sty, taking care of pigs and living off the food prepared for the pigs.

One day the young man realized that the slaves on his father’s land were treated better than he was in his predicament. So he decided to go back to his father’s house and ask to work for his father. His father, upon seeing his son walking toward the house, ran out to meet his son, hugged him, and said, “Let’s have a party to celebrate my son’s return.” The other son, who had been by his father’s side all these years, became upset and told his father this. His father agreed with the good son that he’d been very good and reliable. He added that the reason for his joy was that his other son was lost, but now he was found.

For anyone who has ever found recovery, this story is very relatable. A recovering individual can relate to the prodigal son. An alcoholic or drug abuser is like the prodigal son in that he or she trashes his or her life with booze or drugs and abuses all the good gifts God has given him or her. Then in the end, when life has gotten to a point of no return, the addict or alcoholic, on his or her last legs, decides to find recovery and ask God for help. Sure enough, God is there to celebrate his or her return to life.

(I say life because the life of a practicing alcoholic or addict is really nothing more than a fast-paced death march.)

The part of the prodigal son’s story that I always had a problem with was the role the other brother played. He worked hard for his father, never asked for much, and was a reliable, good, and subservient son. He did all a father could ask, and he watched his brother hurt his father, take half of his father’s property, and blow it all away, only to come back and be celebrated by his father.

Any anger or disgust that the other brother had, I could certainly understand. I did not understand how Jesus could tell this story with this great flaw in it. Then one day I found the answer in an old book. The author explained that the prodigal son represents the sins of the body, while the other son represents the sins of the soul. Sins of the body include sex, drugs, alcohol, and food; when used in an abusive way, they cause bodily harm to an individual or others. Sins of the soul are deeper and more painful in that they are the emotional, mental, or spiritual pains that we experience, often due to others’ actions or our perceptions of others’ actions.

The story of the prodigal son is more about the other son, for he had to overcome the challenges in his life imposed on him by the actions of his brother. His prodigal brother had wasted his father’s inheritance and had gone wild while this brother had helped his father. This other son understandably had resentment toward his prodigal brother and was even more hurt by his father celebrating when his prodigal brother came home.

The real lesson in the story of the prodigal son is forgiveness. It was about a father forgiving his son for wasting his life and his father’s property. It was about a brother forgiving his brother for not being there for him and his father and for wasting his father’s property. And, finally, it was about a prodigal son forgiving himself for his own wrongdoings and humbly asking for his father’s forgiveness.

The post Forgive – On This Sunday Forgive appeared first on The Gateway Pundit.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *