"So he got up and went to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him." Luke 15:20 NIV
There are three different characters in this parable, the prodigal son, the brother, and the father. These three characters represent the stages of Christianity. The first stage is the prodigal son who would be like the immature believer. As an immature believer we can be self seeking, demanding of God the inheritance that he has for us because we want it in the moment. In this stage, we are mainly focused on what will be beneficial for us and how we can obtain it, overlooking the ones around us.
There is also the brother who would be the churched believer. The churched believer is someone who has been in the church for a length of time. As a churched believer, we can become like the brother in the parable, unappreciative, entitled, and acting like grace needs to be earned. If we ever get to the point of complaining about someone else taking steps toward the father or trying to compare, then we have lost focus and the problem has become us. Then there is the father in the parable, the compassionate believer. Compassionate believers know the heart and will of God and act with others in mind. These kinds of believers are humble, give grace, and fully receive people. They see who they are, rather than what they have done. The compassionate believer celebrates any movement toward the father, no matter how big or small. Out of all the characters in the parable, the father is the one that we should look to learn from and be like. The father in this parable truly had the character of Jesus, loving, compassionate, humble, and full of grace. If we could learn to love like that, not only would we bless God’s children, we would bless God.
Jesus, thank You for helping me to be a reflection of who You are! Help me to be compassionate, humble, and filled with grace. God, help me to celebrate what You do. Thank You for helping me love You and Your children better and better everyday.
In Jesus' name, Amen
In which stage of Christianity are you? Are you an immature believer, a churched believer, or a compassionate believer?
How are you going to become a more compassionate believer?