Forgiveness-The Father’s Heart

To forgive is most important. Unfortunately, the act of forgiving depends on how we view our circumstances. Listen as a man from biblical times relates his story.

“I was the head servant of a wonderful and compassionate man. This is his story. He had two sons. The older boy was a diligent worker. He made up for his brother who was a restless soul.

One day the younger boy said, ‘Father, I am bored out of my skull living here. I crave excitement. I want friends. I want to experience life in the fast lane. Give me my inheritance now so I can live life to the fullest while I am still young.’

Well, the father’s heart was grieved, but he knew his son well. Giving him his inheritance early was a small cost to eventually win his loyalty and love.

It didn’t take long for this young man to pack his gear, thumb his nose at his brother and leave. Setting off for the country of dreams, he could only imagine how wonderful life would be.

And it was just as he thought. So many friends to pay attention to him – not like his father’s hired servants. So many women to embrace and make love to. Women who whispered in his ear just how wonderful and exciting he was.

Yes, life was certainly good until that fateful day when he had used the last of his savings. Until then he hadn’t noticed that food was scarce. As long as he had plenty of money to buy, he had enough to eat and lavish on his friends.

His friends! How fickle they were. When he was hungry, they laughed and taunted him instead of filling his stomach.

Finally, he was evicted from his living quarters. He didn’t have much to pack – not like when he left his father’s home – for he had sold his fine wardrobe to put food in his belly. Now there was nothing left and nowhere to go. Fortunately he heard of a small job, applied and was hired.

Reports of the son’s fast living surfaced from time to time. Although the older son never spoke the words in his father’s earshot, the smug look on his face said, ‘I told you so!’

Once after hearing about the riotous living and escapades with harlots, this gentleman looked at me. I knew him well enough to know what his questioning eyes were asking. ‘Is the fatted calf still ready for my son’s return?’ And my nod assured him that it was as he had instructed on the day that his son left home.

Everyday this devoted father searched the road for his son, and everyday the older brother became more jealous.

What a joyous time it was when the father finally could order that the fatted calf be served at a festive dinner in honor of his son’s return.

When the older son heard all the laughter, he asked me what was going on. I answered him, and his face turned beet red. Hatred was in his eyes and harsh words spewed forth.

Hearing his voice, the father came out. Anxious that his sons be reunited, his pleas fell on deaf ears. The same patient love that he had shown his second son, he now showed this angry man.

Back inside the celebration continued. This young, naive man left home as a son. Today he returned as a wise and humble servant.

Pity swept over me. Pity for the father who displayed so much love for his first born son without getting any back. Pity for that son because he didn’t understand his father’s heart.”

Read more on forgiving in Forgiveness, God-Style available on Amazon.

 

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