Confessions [of a prodigal pharisee] ARE BACK!

Get excited!  My confessions are back.  For those of you who don’t know the lingo, let me fill you in.

  • Prodigal/Younger Brother: These are terms used to refer to the parts of my character that identify with the younger brother in the parable of the prodigal sons.  This is the rebellious, pleasure-seeking part of me.
  • Pharisee/Older Brother: These are terms used to refer to the parts of my character that identify with the older brother in the parable of the prodigal sons. This includes the tendency to be self-righteous believe that I am acceptable to God because I obey.

Confession #22 [of a prodigal pharisee]

Confession #22

Sometimes the ‘rewards’ system in the bible makes me uncomfortable

Here’s the deal: over the past year, the Pharisee part of me has been thrust back into the dark hole from whence he came.  Now, I can spot him coming a mile away and every time I affectionately take the Gospel and literally beat him over the head with it.  I have no tolerance any more for the Pharisee in me and his desire to ‘work’ for God.

Confession #21 [of a prodigal pharisee]

Confession # 21

Sometimes I only turn to the Father when all my other options fall through

“After he had spent everything, there was a severe famine in the whole country, and he began to be in need…When he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired men have food to spare, and here I am starving to death!  I will set out and go back to my father…”

Confession #20 [of a prodigal pharisee]

Confession #20:

I sometimes feel like I’m the only one doing this wrong (or the only one who doesn’t have it all together)

There’s encouragement in the lives of the saints.  That’s what I’ve learned this week.

There are ways that both the younger prodigal brother and the Pharisee in me both want to be unique.  The younger brother enjoys the attention that comes with uniqueness and the Pharisee enjoys the unique strengths in me that bring me praise and respect.

Confession #19 [of a prodigal pharisee]

Confession # 19:

I sometimes fail to expect amazing things from God

This is kind of an inverse younger brother/prodigal confession.  This is one thing that the younger brother seemed to grasp that I find myself unable to get my head around.

I was in class on Sunday and a friend of mine pointed something out about the younger brother in the Prodigal God story.  while he manages to screw everything up, in the midst of his questionable decisions, there’s one noteworthy characteristic: The prodigal approaches the Father with crazy expectation.  And his expectation reflects that he thinks his father is pretty darn gracious and generous.  At the beginning of the parable he just rolls up on his dad, expecting a fortune.  I guess he recognizes something in the Father’s character that makes him believe he will do something this generous.