In some point during our lives, we have all messed up. Perhaps we’ve acted out of character, posted an indirect and passive aggressive message on Facebook or fallen out with a friend over an incident that seemed important at the time. Forgiveness is not our first reaction and love is thrown outside the window. The human body has an emotional side and it is instinctive to hold a grudge.
But, there is a profound story in the New Testament of the Bible which challenges the desire to withhold love from those that have hurt us. You may have heard about ‘The Prodigal Son’, a parable in the book of Luke, which is one of the four gospels. The prodigal had two sons, and the youngest one asked for his inheritance. He ‘journeyed into a far country and squandered his property in reckless living’ (Luke 15:13). This young man was more interested in living a hedonistic lifestyle with no feelings of remorse for leaving his father. This man failed to regard those who were hurt along the way and loyalty to his father was a distant memory.
Now, wealth and possessions don’t last forever; they can be here today in the palm of our hands and gone tomorrow. This was the case with the youngest son, and he eventually worked in the fields feeding pigs. One day, he realised life would be better if he went back to his father, confessed his wrong doings, and worked as a hired servant. There’s a change of heart and a new route: his father’s house. Two reactions could have occurred when the father ‘saw him’ (Luke 15:20). One: an outburst of anger and a refusal to forgive. Two: feelings of joy and love. The father chose the second and ‘he felt compassion, and ran and embraced him and kissed him’. You might be thinking ‘how does this apply to me or what does this story have to do with God?’ Like the prodigal son, when we draw near to God and leave behind the life that may have damaged us on the inside, God, through His unfailing love and grace, sprints forward to embrace us and showers us with heavenly kisses of affection. He removes our transgressions and celebrates, just like the father from ‘The Prodigal Son’ (Psalm 103:12). God is always waiting with a joyful heart for your return, because when He loses you, someone so precious in his sight, there is no greater feeling when you are found. God ‘keeps no records of wrong’ (1 Corinthians 13:5) because He loves you.
You may not know God or you may feel unworthy to approach Him. But my prayer is that, like the prodigal son, you will connect or reconnect with God. He can’t wait to welcome you home. Amen.
By Chermaine Sowah