Judgment of the Good

Although this parable wasn’t something new for me to focus on, hearing it explained the way James shared it today (see James’ blog here on my site for the March 14 lesson video or blog upload), especially after having gone through some family challenges just recently reshaped my thinking and really hit home.

It is so easy for me to hear the telling of the Prodigal Son story while I focus on the poor decisions of the wasteful child. Thrift and decency has been major themes in my life, influencing my ability to compare myself harshly to those who have much and care little for budgeting. They get harsh criticism, not me, in fairly transparent means.

How can they show such disregard for the value of the dollar? All my life I’ve worked hard to earn little, giving with discrimination, for I must wisely choose how to divide my earnings. Blowing through a bundle isn’t going to happen, especially when I chastise myself for blowing through $20.

Whether my feelings come through because of what I say or from how I act (often refusing gifts, not offering to cover costs for someone else, spending little or counting my cash), most people can tell I’m in judgment when money is concerned.

And so we come to the Good son in the story of the Prodigal. His father has welcomed home the one considered lost. Family and servants are dancing and singing in response. And this pisses off the elder, the one who is good, who didn’t ask for his inheritance early, who stayed home – as George Bailey did – for the good of those around him. He is responsible, shows concern for others and where did that get him?

In his mind, he’s been slighted, or better yet, slandered. In his face is all the effort he has put into his choices and the recognition is greatly missing. “Hey wait a minute,” he may be saying. “Where’s mine? What about me? When do I deserve credit?”

Better yet, “Have you forgotten what my younger brother has done?”

The judgment of the good is harsh. That brings me to my knees.

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On March 14th, 2010, posted in: Uncategorized by