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  • Writer's pictureTori Shirah

Are you the Prodigal Son or the Prodigal Son's Brother?

today I want to talk to you about a parable that is very popular, but I've only once heard a different perspective from it that I wanted to share with you guys because it's had a lasting impact on me.

And I thought, wow. So much focus is put on the beginning of the parable, not so much the end, but the end is just as impactful and just as important. So let's talk about the prodigal sun. Okay. So do you know this parable it's located in Luke 15 and it is a story that where the loss gets found. Right before the story, Jesus mentions talking about the 99 and leaving the 99 for the one that gets lost.

And there's some incredible worship songs that go along with that. Personally, I like Corey Asbury's reckless love, which talks about leaving the 99 for the one and being the one that he leaves to go find. And that's just reassuring to me because I can, I feel like the one an awful lot. Don't you? I don't know.

Maybe it's just. Different season of motherhood, but yeah, for sure. I definitely feel like the one. So if you don't know the story, it is about. A man has two sons. The younger brother asks the father and says, please give me my inheritance now, before you die. And so the father divvies up the inheritance between the two sons, the younger son takes the money and runs.

He goes off and squanders it away. And the Bible says that he does different things with it, squanders it on things that have of no lasting value. At one point, he is completely. Poor. He loses everything. The country that he's left is now in famine and he's, he's starving and so much so that he's looking to be a hired helper with somebody and he finds a place where he can feed.

Pigs. And he comes to his senses and realization that my father's servants eat better than these pigs do. I will go home. I will tell my father that I have Sinn against him and heaven and ask for him to forgive me and, you know, just let me work for him. I don't even need his acceptance. Then I just wanna be a hired hand cuz I will eat better than I am now as one of his servants.

And so the younger son goes home and the father sees him so far away and he starts running towards him and he embraces his son with a big, huge hug and kiss and just says, my last son is home and he tells his servants to go get a bright robe. Go get a ring for sandals for his feet and slaughter the fat and calf for feast that we'll have tonight in celebration.

So that's usually where, you know, we talk about God's love and how, no matter how far away we go from God, you know, he. He is running towards us when we're running at him, no matter how far away from him we have gotten, but the part of the story, I mean, and that's an incredible part of the story, right? The younger brother, and very easy to relate to.

How many times do we wander away? How many times do we think that we know better what to do within inheritance with the wealth that God has given us the blessings and say, I'll take it from here. Let me go figure out what I'm gonna do. And then before we know it, you know, we've lost everything and then we are just going, okay, I need to go ask for forgiveness and repent for this.

And I will accept anything that God gives me at this point because I have strayed so far and I don't deserve anything else. Why those are all great things and a great lesson. I think part of the lesson that gets missed is actually the older brother. The older brother stayed the whole time with dad. He never left dad's side.

He worked for dad. He was faithful in working with his dad. He never expected probably to see his brother again, he was probably planning on taking over the family business because he was the one that was there and he was the older brother. Right. What is his reaction when he finds out the younger brother is back.

He actually doesn't see the younger brother come back. What he responds to is actually the dancing, the celebration and the commotion of the celebration of the younger brother coming home. And so he's completely unaware that all of this has begun and that his younger brother is home until he hears it.

He calls the servant over and says, what is going on? And they said, your last brother has been found. He is home. And your father has said, To fat in the calf and let's have a feast and celebrate in honor. And the older brother will not participate. He's angry and so much so that his father comes out and begs him, begs him to come inside.

And it even says, I'm gonna read this part. This is Luke. Chapter 15, starting at verse 28, the older brother was angry and wouldn't go in. His father, came out and begged him, but he replied all these years. I've slave for you and never once refused to do a single thing. You told me to. And in that time, you never gave me even one young goat for a feast with my friends.

Yet. When this son of yours comes back after squandering your money on prostitutes, you celebrate by killing the fatten calf. His father said to him, look, dear son. You have always stayed by me and everything I have is yours. We had to celebrate this happy day before your brother was dead and has come back to life.

He was lost, but now he is found. And while those are just a couple short verses, I think those are quite powerful because we can be the younger brother an awful lot. When we take off with the blessings and think that we know what we're doing, but how often are we the older brother when we have been, I'm gonna say obedient in action, but not in heart.

Cuz clearly the brother has resented. The younger brother and is holding onto it has been holding onto it probably since he's left, because he's thinking that the younger brother has gone off. He's had no responsibilities. He just spent money. He hasn't been working. He hasn't been doing the things for the family.

He hasn't been responsible at all. And then he comes home for a party. So how many times are we the older brother? When we see somebody who is getting to have all the fun. Squanders everything away. And then somehow they're still celebrated because they've come back or they have like a prize waiting for them.

I will give you an example in network marketing business, a lot of businesses. I don't know that I, how obviously every network marketing business is set up, but. For my business, we have residual income. Right. And I was resentful of my direct implying because I thought that she was getting a paycheck. She didn't deserve.

And I was the one that was doing all the work and that feels yucky saying that , it feels awful. Um, but I'm gonna be truthful for you guys because in all honesty, that was one of the turning points. Of when I realized how God was using my business for his kingdom and not for my promotions. What I came to realize is that the paycheck that my direct club line gets, she is homeschooling her kiddos.

And while she may not work the business anymore, she gets a great check. For the work that she put in all those years ago. And this is a way that God is allowing this business to bless her financially and help her family as a stay-at-home mom and a homeschooling mom. And when I look at it that way about how God is using that, how God is blessing her through all of the hard work that I did for, or have been doing for five years with this business, I'm so much happier.

Because every month. She gets a check and I'm excited for her that she gets to just have some money coming in that she doesn't really have to like worry about like as long as she's, you know, stays within good standings of the company. There's a certain level that she'll get, and that's incredible and that's not mine to decide.

And I love that. It made me angry and my heart was not our obedience. My actions were in obedience with God calling me. I saw I'm gonna continue to work with this way, but my heart wasn't aligned with that. My heart wasn't of service and of love and helping others. I was unhappy that there was somebody who had got to walk away and come back and, and they're getting the celebration.

Obviously that's stretching the parable a little bit, but you can see what my point has. The other part that I want you to see in this story in the parable is we've talked about the story of the lost younger brother. We've talked about the older brother. Let's talk about the father. The father never changed from the beginning of the story.

He was constant and faithful. And he actually, in the beginning of the story, when the younger brother asks for his inheritance up front, you don't see that the man argues, he doesn't argue, he doesn't try to keep, he says, this is yours. I will, I will give this to you now. And so that's, what's incredible with that.

And at the end, when we see the father excited about seeing the lost son, he is happy. He is. Filled with joy because the lost is found his son who he thought was dead, has come home. And he's so thankful and has so much gratitude in that. And the older brother obviously doesn't see that. And he just sees, well, you're just celebrating him and he's gotten to go off and do all the things.

And then the father comes to him and says, you have always stayed by my side. Everything I have. Is yours. Everything I have is yours. So sure the younger brother went off and squandered his money, but everything that the father has acquired is the older sons and he doesn't take advantage of it. He doesn't see it like that.

All he sees is the celebration. He is complaining that he didn't get a young goat feast. Isn't that crazy? I mean, think about it. He's lived in his own home. He has his own part of this family business and he has all of this and he's upset that he didn't get a young goat feast. That's like somebody saying that, well, you didn't take me to the steakhouse when I came home or when I was, you know, we never went out to dinner when I was here.

That's silly. Right. And the scheme of like in the, the scheme of things, it's all, that's all silly, just silly because we're not being grateful for what we have. And it's also not our journey. God has called us to each, to an individual journey. The younger son had, he went through a tragic season where he was literally eating with pigs.

And jealous of the food that pigs got. I'm pretty sure the older brother never had to worry about food or a roof over his head. I'm pretty sure he was never thinking, oh my gosh, these pigs are eating better than I do, but he's comparing that one. The feast that his younger brother's going through and not getting one, when he comes home.

So, what are you comparing? What celebration are you seeing in somebody else's life that you are angry about, that you're jealous of? Who are you resenting? Because you've been obedient in action from the get go, but you're upset about their success now, or the celebration that they're getting now. And, you know, in all the rest of theirs, the trouble that they went through, the heartbreak that they went through, the hard times that they went through.

But you're upset. They're getting a celebration. Now they get to go off and do whatever that is that you're jealous of. Our journeys are different. And just because you're obedient in action does not mean you're obedient in heart. And that is a very, very different thing. And also think about. How much more joy.

The older brother would've had, how much more life giving older brother would've had if he had like of the resentment, the anger and the jealousy of his younger brother, because Abey anything, he was thinking that he'd have to share all the responsibilities with his brother. Right. He grew up thinking, well, my brother and I we're gonna split all the responsibilities around hair.

We'll be doing this business together. Da, da, da, cuz that's typically what families did. Right? The things were passed down. To the sons and the family. And so, you know, he, he grew up thinking that, and then his per perspective, obviously his reality completely shifted his younger brother laughed. Then he's upset.

And he's probably thinking, well, he's having the time of his life and he's getting to do this. And here I am working the fields and here I am taking care of the animals. And here I am doing this for dad here I am doing. And then it's like, he's like, I've been doing all this hard work. That's not obedient.

And that's not honoring by any means when you're holding onto all of that. I want you to be aware of the younger brothers actions and don't waste away your life living foolish. Don't waste the inheritance, the blessings that God has given us to run off, to go do our own thing. It never ends well, it doesn't.

Now, if you're a believer in Jesus and you believe that he is the way the truth alive, and the only way through him is heaven, then yes, we absolutely get to celebrate. And we have a happy ending with him in heaven and death is lost its sting for us. We are. Responsible to live this life on earth, still honoring him and still doing work for his kingdom.

Cause that's why we're here. It's not just hanging out. It's not just, well, I just gotta live these 70, 80 years and then God will take me. I used to think that. But then I realized that he's got us here for a reason. He's got us here for a special time. You were hand selected to live in a time with modern medicine, the technology, the AI, the incredible inventions that we have.

I mean, you were selected for this time period for a reason. There's a reason that you did not live in the time. In the 18 hundreds, the 17 hundreds were all the way back to the time of Jonah or Esther or Daniel. He could have picked you for any one of those times, but he didn't. He picked you for now. And I don't want you to Harbor the anger, resentment, or jealousy, because that, all that does is make you sick.

Let go of that. And when you do, you'll be so. Satisfied filled with more gratitude filled with more joy, because when you let go of that, you've stopped poisoning yourself. And then I most importantly, I want you to always remember that the father is always constant and always faithful. And that's good news for all of us, whether you're the younger brother or the old brother, it is always good news that our heavenly father does not change.

And he is always faithful. So as we wrap up today's session, I would like to invite you to subscribe to the newsletter at crazy faith,, scroll down and hit subscribe for either the weekly newsletter. Also, I have got a free beat on there for you. It is a weekly planner that helps you focus your priorities for family first and helps you just keep in line to remind you of that you work to live.

You don't live to work. So I want you to remember that and then be sure to follow me on social media at @thereal.torishirah. And you can also email me

Great session today. I'll see you back here next week in the meantime, be sure to follow @thereal.torishirah on Instagram.

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