In my Life Journal this morning I looked intently at these verses in Luke.
Title: What is my Attitude? 1/15/07
"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
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.
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.
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".