The reputation of the Father2
When he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have food to spare, and here I am starving to death!
- Luke 15:17
As soon as the younger son comes to his senses, he remembers his father’s reputation.
At this time, the younger son has hired himself out to someone who doesn’t share his Jewish values. Now they young man is feeding pigs and being cheated on his pay. He isn’t even given enough to be able to afford to eat. He’s on a path to work himself to death.
But things were different back home. His father paid his servants fairly and well. They had food to spare. They did work with more dignity and were treated well. The father in the story was a good boss.
The younger son didn’t return home because his father gave good snuggles and told funny bedtime stories. He didn’t return home because he loved and missed his father. He returned home because, if he had to work for someone, he wanted to work for someone like his father.
The way people answer the “What’s God like?” question matters tremendously. So many of our lost brothers and sisters are sleeping in pigpens because they don’t know that our heavenly father is a good boss: generous, fair, treating people with dignity. Why leave the pigsty unless there’s something better out there, unless there’s someone better out there?
Take stock today of how you talk about God (to yourself and to others). Is he a cruel taskmaster holding you back from what you really want? Or is he a generous employer who makes sure that his workers work with dignity and have enough to eat? How does the way you talk about God reflect your true beliefs about him?