Voices of Faith: Believers, we are one, aren't we?

 

There is a reason God allows us to experience hurt as the father in this story. He allows hurt so that we may be more considerate, compassionate, and humble when He allows us to be in positions of influence.

Luke 15:20 (KJV) "But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck and kissed him."

Back in the day, in elementary school, kickball was the craze and I absolutely loved it! Modesty aside, to say that I was good at kickball would have been an understatement. There are no official statistics in existence, but I am very comfortable in saying the teams I played on won much more frequently than we lost.

However, on one occasion, after my team won, I reminded some members of the losing team how "bad" my team was. But it was the words of a female classmate on the other team that caught me off guard. Her name was Amanda Reed and the words she said ring with clarity some 30 plus years later. She said "Good for your team, Andrae, that you guys won, but you are a sore winner." I did not grasp the totality of her statement at that time. However, a few weeks later, when my team was getting pounded and I observed the winning team laughing as my teammates and I dropped kicked balls and made errant throws at runners rounding the bases, it crystallized in my mind how ridiculous my actions were in times of victory.

There is a reason God allows us to experience hurt as the father in this story. He allows hurt so that we may be more considerate, compassionate, and humble when He allows us to be in positions of influence.

For example, Joseph's loving-kindness displayed as ruler of Egypt in Genesis 41:41 was forged through the hurt and rejection he was subjected to in the pit in Genesis 37:22 and the humiliation and loneliness he experienced in the prison in Genesis 39:20.

In the prodigal son story, the father could have been indignant and lectured his son on the virtue of moral behavior. He could have locked the gates to his palatial quarters. He could have griped and cursed at his son for his frivolous spending and lack of respect for authority.

In short, he could have been a "sore winner." But instead, the father must have reflected on the hurt he felt when his son departed and made the decision that he did not want to perpetuate this anguish anymore. God help us to do likewise.

Andrae P. Crismon, Sr. is the pastor of Higher Ground Worship Center, Church of God in Christ, in Murfreesboro, Tennessee and the author of "Lord, Keep My Mind Clean: A 31 Day Devotional & Accountability Journal."

© 2017 The Murfreesboro Post

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