The Story Of The Prodigal Son And It’s Lesson
Introduction : In Luke 15:11-32, we see the story of a prodigal son who became so because he left the comfort of his father’s house to go live a wasteful and pitiable life, all for the sake of freedom.
His father was a wealthy man. He gave his children all they wanted. They never lacked anything money could be buy. One day, the first son, woke up and demanded for his inheritance. His father gave him and he left the house to a strange land to be independent.
He thought he was big enough and wealthy enough (by reason of his inheritance from his father) to go be on his own.
Only if he knew that money alone is not enough to live a good life or be happy. He thought all he needed to be happy in life was to gain independence from home, eat what he likes, hang out where he likes and who he liked, drive the cars he liked and so on.
This is exactly the case with many people in our world today. They think all they need to have a good life is to have money and be famous.
Are there lessons to learn from this story of the prodigal son? Yes there are many but let’s consider these few
Lessons to Learn From The Prodigal Son
1. You need character to sustain wealth
Having money is not enough to sustain wealth. Character, whether good or bad determines how long your wealth will last. If you lack the adequate and appropriate character to manage money, it will destroy you. Therefore, to sustain wealth, you need strength of character. You need strong values, discipline, diligence, resourcefulness, capacity, financial literacy, honestly, truthfulness, integrity and so on to manage money. The prodigal son had no strength of Character whatsoever, hence he could not sustain his wealth. Infact, the lack of character made him ask for his inheritance prematurely
2. There is time for everything
Yes, just like there is time to be born and time to die, so is there an appropriate time to gain independence, time to grow, time to work, time to be wealthy and time to enjoy. Rather than growing, serving and learning, the prodigal son couldn’t wait. His lack of the understanding of times and season, made him learn the hard way. We must learn that in life, there is a time for everything. Everything has their time and we must learn the times and seasons for them.
3 Self gratification can be delayed
He was too eager to enjoy his inheritance. After all, he didn’t work for it. His father did. So he didn’t understand what it means to work hard for money. All he wanted was to spend off what was his share. To waste it on women, on friends and on living large. He got the self gratification but it never lasted. We must learn to delay self gratification till the right time. Self gratification is good but there is a time and a season for it. A time where it is enjoyable, appropriate and meaningful.
4 There is always room for amendment
Thank God the Father have him a second chance to make amends. Yes, he made his mistakes. Yes, he was foolish. Yes, he lacked character and patience but he learnt and made took the bold step to ask for his father’s forgiveness. When we mess up in life, in whatever capacity, we must learn to be bold enough to seek forgiveness and make amends. We must not believe the lie that it is too late unless we have tried and found that it is really too late. Take the bold step first. Reach out first. Ask to be forgiven. Ask to be given a second chance.
5 Own up to your mistakes
When we mess up and discover so, we must own up to our mistakes. The prodigal son saw how much he had wasted, he saw his mistakes, he saw his foolishness and he made up his mind to go seek his father’s forgiveness. He must have been ashamed of himself but he didn’t allow that hinder him. He must at some point have thought about his ego, but he laid it aside and sought his father. We must learn that the first step to finding peace and forgiveness with God, with ourselves and with anyone, is to first own up to our own errors. It is to first acknowledge our wrongs and seek peace.
6 We must learn to forgive and let go of the past
The father of the prodigal son must have been hurt by his son’s decision to leave home with his inheritance but the moment his son came back, he opened his arms wide to receive him. He hugged him and threw a feast for him. He forgave him, he accepted him and he received him like nothing had happened. This is a lesson to us that people will offend us. People will hurt us. These people could be our friends, children, sibling, parents, colleagues, neighbours or even strangers. They would hurt us badly but regardless, we must learn to let go, forgive and move on.
7 Wealth has many fake friends but riches has only true brothers
When you have money to spend around, you will find many people flock around you but lack only reveals who your true friends, brothers or family are. When the prodigal son got broke, everybody left him but only his family accepted him back in his empty state.
8 The Father’s love for us
God’s love for us is like that of the prodigal son’s father who was just waiting for him to come back home. God is like that too. Waiting for all sinners to return home. Waiting for every wandering child to retrace their steps and come home. God is waiting for all prodigals. He is waiting patiently and He is waiting eagerly, hoping that they would someday realize that he is not judging them for their sins but he is ready to give them a clean state to start afresh.
9 Decision determines destiny
One day, after the prodigal son had lost all his money and friends and started to share food with the swine, he said to himself, “I will arise and go to my father”. That was the decision! That was the day his shackles were broken. “I will arise” and he arose, travelled home, into the loving arms of his father. That was the day his life changed. He was give a fresh and new start.
Every decision to having a relationship with God starts with the decision to arise and go to God. The decision to go to God and seek his forgiveness is usually the best decision anyone who make in their lifetime and this decision is always the start to a great destiny. If you want a fresh start either as a prodigal son or as someone who has never been a son, all you need to do is make the decision to arise and go to God.
He is waiting patiently for you, to give you a great destiny.