One of my favorite parables of the Gospels is The Prodigal Son.
The parable exhibits love, redemption, humility, repentance, and forgiveness between the father and the lost son. Usually, this parable is preached from the perspective of the father or the lost son to invite people to salvation. Majority of us can relate to the Prodigal Son because we’ve walked in his shoes before we met Christ. However, I want to take a closer look into the heart of the oldest son.
If you’re unfamiliar with the parable, it is found in Luke 15:11-32.
I want to focus on versus 25-32. In verse 25, the oldest brother compares his loyalty and servitude to his brother and yet he doesn’t receive a celebration because of his loyalty throughout the years. How many of us have secretly compared our loyalty to God or our churches and became jealous because we saw our sister receive blessings or recognition for doing little to nothing?
As sisters, we shouldn’t compare ourselves to one another because we have the same Father who doesn’t lack anything. He is the same Father who can bless you as well. When we see one of our sisters winning, we should rejoice and celebrate with them.
You can’t love, celebrate, or be friends with your sister genuinely if you’re comparing yourself to her.
The enemy wants you to believe the lie that God loves one person more than the other or that God lacks in abundance and He can’t provide for you, to distort your view of your Heavenly Father. Acts 10:34 says, “Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons.” Your Father does not show favoritism to one child over the other. God loves you uniquely, and there’s an abundance of his love for you.
One reason that we compare ourselves to others is that we don’t know our place within God.
The oldest son spent years with the father and still didn’t know his heart. It’s the same way with us, we have spent years in the church, but we do not understand the heart of God towards us because we lack an intimate relationship with Him. We build that relationship and learn God’s heart during our personal time that we spend with Him in prayer and reading His word. Once we become assured of our place in Christ, we won’t have to compare ourselves to anyone. I pray that you will not allow the enemy a foothold in your heart due to comparison because it’ll give a foothold to the spirit of jealousy. That spirit will bring in hate and anger, which are two more spirits that will take residence within your heart and corrupt it if you do not kill comparison. The comparison will cause you to be discontent and ungrateful with your portion. We have to live like Paul and learn to be content whether we are abounded or abased (Philippians 4:11-13)
While studying the parable, I noticed that the oldest son never asked for the fattened calf. Several scriptures within the New Testament speak of, “You have not because you ask not.” One of those scriptures is James 4: 2-3, so have you asked God for what you do not have?
Does your heart possess the wrong motives?
Are you asking because your sister has it or because you want the approval of people?
I encourage you to ask yourself those tough questions during your heart checkup, and if God reveals to you that this is in your heart, then I encourage you to confess, repent, and allow God to heal your heart.
Please know that you are important in the eyes of God, so you don’t have to measure your life against others but measure yourself to Christ. God is a good father, and He knows what you need and desire, but God will not answer a request that will potentially cause you to idolize the thing that you desire. Your motives can change once Christ makes himself at home in your heart because you will not desire worldly things but things according to God’s perfect will.