It’s easy to get angry when we see others waste God’s gifts and yet he gives them another chance time and again. And we might naturally wonder why we keep denying ourselves when others seem to get to have their cake and eat it too. But often our jealousy is rooted in our own limited perspective of what God has already given us.
The older brother in the Prodigal Son story felt cheated after years of slaving for his dad and being obedient in everything, while his younger brother wasted his inheritance and was still welcomed home to a party.
It seems only natural to question in such a moment.
But, like the older brother, we often get so focused on what God is doing in someone else’s story we miss how he’s blessed and provided in our own.
While the older brother was rightly obedient to his father, what he missed was his father’s generosity toward him. He slaved for years, but it wasn’t that the father was treating him as a slave.
In fact, in this very moment in which he’s feeling cheated, his father is reminding him of his sonship – Everything I have is yours.
A son gets full access to his father’s household and all his goods. But, presumably, the older brother was missing all the rich goodness the father had made available to him.
And all too often we do the same.
For instance, it’s easy to focus on the blatant sexual sins of others while we grow bitter for not having the sex life we desire.
But we forget it was God who created us as sexual beings and he wants us to enjoy this gift to the full.
Our sexuality is not something for us to endure as fearful slaves, but rather as true sons to discover, engage, and celebrate fully.
We get full access to God’s storehouses of goodness. And often it’s our own limited mindset that blocks the many blessings available to us.
In the end, learn to live as a true son of God – obedient, and yet free to enjoy every goodness he has to offer.