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  • Writer's pictureitallstartsintheho

Is Your Heart Rated G or R?

I'm sure you are familiar with the Prodigal Son story in Luke 15: 11-32. There are many takeaways from this parable, but one that grabs my attention is the character of the older son. Pastors usually preach about the younger son and his choice to leave his father's house with his inheritance to experience the world. If this were a movie, I would rate this portion of the younger son's life a rated R. Humiliated by his bad decisions and reckless living, the younger son realizes his unfortunate fate and decides to return to his loving father. He is regretful and repentant of his past and seeks his father's forgiveness. Now on the other side of the spectrum, you have the older brother, who appears to be the "loyal" one who lives a rated G life. He doesn't seem to cause any trouble for his father and performs his assigned duties as told. But then you recognize his true heart condition when the father welcomes and celebrates his once wayward son's return. There is bitterness mixed in with anger and jealousy. By the end of the story, both sons' heart postures end up switching. The younger son has turned into a rated G rating, and the older brother moves on to a rated R.

Most times, I hear teachings about the son who left home versus the one who stayed. However, I think the one that requires more attention is the older brother. Why? The younger one made obvious mistakes, and he recognized the error of his ways. Conversely, the older one views everyone else's mistakes and doesn't perceive his own. He creates a whole case of what the younger brother did wrong, as well as his perceived offense from the father.

I feel like offense is one of the enemy's sneakiest tactics to break apart relationships. Offense creates wedges that tend to grow more over time. Nowadays, people seem to become easily offended over minor details. I read a crazy article where there was a fight between neighbors because someone was offended that the other person preferred dogs over cats. Someone else decided they were offended because a friend "ghosted" them without realizing the other person took a break using social media. I know as a mom, my sensitivity rings higher when it has anything to do with my children, which means offense can pop up anytime. Offense can happen between strangers and the closest of relationships if we're not diligent in identifying the truth.

Relationships are invaluable to God, which means the enemy hates them and will do whatever he can to destroy them. Let's be assiduous in keeping our relationships a top priority and overlooking the offense of another.

"Good sense makes one slow to anger,

and it is his glory to overlook an offense." Proverbs 19:11

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