Not many days later, the younger son gathered all he had and took a journey into a far country, and there he squandered his property in reckless living.
The younger brother has more than enough to no longer live under His Father’s roof. There is no mention of the Father trying to stop the younger son from going on this journey. The Father gave freely of the inheritance which was unusual and speaks of how generous our God is to us in giving us this life, this identity, this opportunity, these gifts, these abilities, this potential. We were created by an unusually generous Father. This Father did not stop his son; He let him take everything and do what he wanted with it.
This son lacked vision because he lacked the understanding to stop and value the One who gave him everything so freely. Vision comes from relationship. You would think that if someone gave you an inheritance so willingly, without withholding, you would stop to ask the Father, “How did I acquire all that I have?” Maybe you would stop to ask, “Why are you giving me what I ask for so willingly?” Whatever the question should have been, there seems to be no care, no vision and no honor in the younger son’s behavior.
This is typical human nature. We let what we want to be more important than the person who gave us what we want. We do this in our human relationships all the time. We do it in our marriages, in our families, with our friends, with our work colleagues—the great human tragedy. We want what we want so we can do what we want, but in doing so, we have squandered potential. We missed the true gold in the One who was giving us the gold.
And so the son took the gold and went to a far off place. Why are we running to a place when what we created for was not a place but a person? Why are we squandering what we were given when the One who gave us this human life has a divine purpose for it? Why are we reckless with what is precious to the Father?
Who you are is a gift from the Father. Your humanity s not a disease but a blessing. Sin has deceived us in to believing that what we are should be spent recklessly. Sin teaches us to run and hide from the One who gave us the gift of life. We need a new teacher. We need to reconnect with the One who gave us who we are so freely. We want to run to a place far away, but what we truly need is to stay close to the person of Jesus Christ. Our Father, our Creator, the Giver of life. We are His inheritance. Humans are His inheritance. Who we are belongs to Him. He has freely given us who we are—not to be squandered but to be valued. You are a one of kind of inheritance for the Lord. He only made one of you. For you to be lost—for you to be squandered, to be deceived into thinking that who you are and what you were made for doesn’t matter—is the great tragedy of life.
By the Holy Spirit, with eyes fixed on the sacrifice Jesus made to recover us and hearts open to the Father’s love, may we begin to change our running to staying, our squandering to valuing, our reckless living to purposeful worship.
Who you are is a gift from the Father.
// Pastor Josh Kelsey