Monday, January 15, 2007

S.O.A.P. for today

In my Life Journal this morning I looked intently at these verses in Luke.

Title: What is my Attitude? 1/15/07
S. (Scripture)
"The older brother became angry and refused to go in. So his father went out and pleaded with him. But he answered his father, 'Look! All these years I've been slaving for you and never disobeyed your orders. Yet you never gave me even a young goat so I could celebrate with my friends. But when this son of yours who has squandered your property with prostitutes comes home, you kill the fattened calf for him!'
" 'My son,' the father said, 'you are always with me, and everything I have is yours. But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found." Luke 15:28-32

O. (Observation)
Whenever I read Luke 15 and see the heart of Jesus when it comes to the lost, I am always drawn to these verses. I accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior as a young girl, therefore I have tried to walk with him throughout most of my life. And so did this older brother. Or at least that is what he thinks. One thing I have always wondered is "what happen after the father came out and talked to him?" Did he repent in his own heart for his pride and self righteous attitude or did he stay outside and remain angry and bitter. Scripture does not tell us. But as I look at the older son's description of his faithfulness to the father and the words that was selected to describe it, I have a clue. He says, "Look! All these years I've been slaving for you and never disobeyed your orders." His heart is revealed. Loving devotion, faithfulness and obedience usually do not use imagery of being a slave. He also reveals his heart and attitude towards the Father when he refers to his brother as, "this son of yours" as if to have already separated himself from the family long before he came in from the field. I can almost imagine him placing himself in some high position in his mind because he wasn't LIKE his younger brother. Oh, what a dangerous place to be.


A. (Application)
Do I celebrate when others come to Christ who have clearly caused grief to their family and others? Or is my heart jealous of what God is doing in their life and do I let my own self-righteous attitude come forth? Do I become irritated when it seems the prayers and concerns are always aimed at the lost and hurting in my family? Jesus celebrated when the lost repented. I must always remember "all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God". No matter how long I have walked and pursued godliness in my life, I must never forget that I am a sinner, saved by grace.

P. (Prayer)
Lord, forgive me for my self-righteous attitudes. Help me to have a heart for the lost and hurting. I thank you for the words, "you are always with me, and everything I have is yours".

9 comments:

Kelly said...

What a wonderful application of the passage. You have given me a lot to reflect on today! I need to ask myself those same questions.

Susanne said...

Excellent observations, Chris, on what may have been the thoughts of the older brother. "Loving devotion, faithfullness and obediance does not use the imagery of a slave". Powerful. It really spoke to me of not just my attitude in the context of your devotion, but that one line made me think of my attitude in my marriage, with my children, with my job. Very powerful post today.

Carol said...

SOAP? Are you a nurse?

Great insights into a highly familiar passage!

Heth said...

I've always identified more with the older brother. Yikes. What a scary place to be.

Chris said...

Carol,
No, I am not a nurse. But I have heard that the acronym S.O.A.P. used in the life journal is also used in the medical field. But I don't know exactly how??

janiswrites said...

You soooo spoke to me today through your scripture. You described it excellently and made it really come to life. Great job! Blessings to you!

Cyndi said...

What a great post! The longer I walk with the Lord the more aware I am of my own need for grace, that's for sure. I loved what you had to say.

Oh, and I tagged you for a meme! :)

Linda said...

Thanks for visiting my blog Chris, and for you sweet comment.
I enjoyed reading your post. There have been times when I've identified with that older brother. I seem to battle selfishness so much of the time. It isn't easy to see someone else blessed and truly rejoice with them when we feel we have been overlooked. I have asked the Lord to help to rejoice with others and not feel envious, and to truly have compassion for those who are lost and suffering.
A great devotional.

Carol said...

SOAP is used in medical charting: Subjective data, Objective data, Assessment, Plan. Another way to chart is using a narrative format, but lots of places still insist on SOAP for consistent structure.

I love that you used it here!