“So he returned home to his father. And while he was still a long way off, his father saw him coming. Filled with love and compassion, he ran to his son, embraced him, and kissed him. Luke 15:20
Sin’s A Domino!
Sin affects in many ways. We sin against God and man at the same time. Even if we don’t directly sin against man, our sin still affects our relationships with man and certainly every sin affects our relationship with God. Sin is the domino that sets off a ton of other dominos. This young boy learned that principle. His sin was not limited to a single relationship but multiple ones. I’m sure any of us can look back with great heartache and see the ways our sin has affected the way others respond to or treat us. It can leave a huge hole to climb out of!
Possessing Or Possession?
The boy’s perspective changed drastically. It’s amazing how some time, distance, hardship and heartache can do that! Initially, he thought he was somebody because of what he had instead of who he was. However, it’s who has us, not what we have that counts. For a while the possessions possessed him and now that they were gone, so was his self-esteem. His self- worth was in the dumps. But then again, how many us are right there with him? We somehow have forgotten that our worth is not based upon our choices but upon our birthrights! Once a son, always a son. This young man was worthy because he was a son not because of what he had or had not done. We must remember this. Our worth as a child of God goes beyond any goof-up, mistake or sin. We must make every effort to remember that it’s not so much about self-esteem as it is esteeming God highly. When we do that properly, we will understand how much we mean to Him too.
I’m near-sighted, which means I can only see things close to me. I use glasses for this problem. I believe that this father was far-sighted because he could see the son a long way off, recognize him and respond to him! He also didn’t care about the stuff that was near, like the stench, the mud, or the dirt. So here’s a father running rather undignified, to his son with no concern for himself, his attire, or his protocol. It’s his son! And nothing is going to get in the way. Nothing! He’s been watching, waiting, and praying for this day and now it’s here!I love the fact that the son seems to be walking but the father is running. I love the fact that the father throws his arms around him and kisses him. These are all initiated by the father. The son simply receives all the father wants to give him. How much more the incredible picture of God running to us, taking the first steps in embracing and kissing us.
Full, Not Half.
The father was filled with compassion. He could have been angry, upset, bitter or any number of other justifiable emotions. Yet, he is full, not partly or half but full of compassion. The word “compassion” means “with suffering”. Ever heard: “this is gonna hurt me more than you”? That’s the case here. Every time we turn from God and go our own way, God’s heart breaks.
It Is Over!
The father was filled to overflowing with compassion. In his mind, the whole ordeal was over the moment he saw the boy again. The same is true with us and God. It’s over when he says it’s over. Some times we can’t get over it and there are definitely others that can’t get beyond it but God always does. It’s over before you even know it!
Think back on a time when there was a domino affect because of some sin you committed.
Is there something that has happened where others have not been able to let you live down or forgive you for? Have to been able to forgive them for not forgiving you?
Where do you find your self-esteem? How is your level of esteem? Where does your self-image find it’s roots?
How do you look at yourself? Does your image line up with what God says about you?
How does your self-worth issues affect your decision-making? Your response to others and to God?
What are you expecting from God? How do you think He’s going to treat you? Do you trust His heart?
What needs to be over in your life? Why not confess it and let it be so?
How’s your compassion for others?