Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Are You a Hater or a Celebrator?

Luke 15:32
But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.

Sometimes, I wonder if we like seeing people fail more than we like seeing them succeed. What sells more papers and magazines, good news or bad news? What’s the top TV show, Scandal or Give Me My Life Back on OWN? Deep down I think we all appreciate a story of redemption or a good “come back” story unless their success comes at an expense to our ego.

It’s hard for us to celebrate certain people when we think we have been more faithful or in the “game’ longer than they have. Think of someone who was celebrated recently and you found it hard to be happy for them. What causes us to be “haters” when we should be “celebrators?”

In this familiar story of the prodigal son returning home, the older brother is a “hater” because his younger brother is being celebrated by the Father. At first, the sermonic spotlight is on the youngest son who realizes the errors of his ways and repents to his father, but really the spotlight should be on the older brother whose response to the return of his brother is shocking but it’s real. You can empathize with the older brother’s feelings when you look at the facts.

His younger brother dissed their father by asking for the inheritance early which was typically set aside for the oldest to get first after the daddy was deceased. The youngest dipped into his Daddy’s 401K and then blew it on partying. The younger son wasted his daddy’s money while the oldest stayed home to help the Father make money. The younger son comes home to get a party with barbecued calf, but the oldest son never got a party or even a young goat to barbecue with his friends.
Why would God expect us to celebrate somebody like that?
  1. You are already blessed! The Father told the oldest son. “You are always with me and everything I have you have access to.” The oldest son represents those of us who are already saved and the youngest are those who haven’t been saved long but they decided to come back home. If God decides to bless them we don’t have to be jealous because I’ve been blessed the whole time.
  2. He’s your brother. This person is not your enemy, they are connected to you in the Spirit. If they have come back to God or they are working for God, they are not your competition they are your brother. You have to be able to celebrate what God is doing in your brothers’ life even if they didn’t look out for your best interest at one time or the other.
  3. He was dead now he’s alive. There are times in all of our lives where we were spiritually dead and they person that I was then doesn’t match the person I am now. We cannot hold resentment for who people used to be when God brings them back to life.
  4. He was lost, now he’s found. When some people fall off and you keep going, it’s your God given responsibility that God bring them back. God says that he wishes that no one would perish but that all would be saved. That’s why he gives us time to get back to where we are supposed to be. When somebody gets back to their place in God that is a time to celebrate not hate.
Dear God,

Help me to celebrate those that have made their way back to you. Help me to celebrate my brothers and my sisters who are celebrated even when I am not. I have too much to be thankful for! I’m already blessed. If I never see my name in lights or in a magazine, I’m already blessed. I just thank you for letting me be in your house and I’m grateful that you helped my brother and my sister to get back on their feet again. I celebrate what you’ve done for me and for my brothers and sisters.

In Jesus Name,

No comments:

Post a Comment