Luke 15:17-18: “But when he came to himself, he said, “How many of my Father’s hired servants have more than enough bread, but I perish here with hunger. I will arise and go to my Father, and I will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you”.
If we’re honest, things aren’t always as they seem, or as we’d hoped they would be. It’s easy to deceive ourselves and deny truth to a certain point, but reality is honest. When the prodigal son took a survey of his circumstance and looked at his surroundings, reality wrapped itself around him in stinking muddy pig pens, ragged clothes and hunger pangs. He was no longer deceived about his status, he was literally wallowing at the bottom of the pit. What it took to bring him to his senses, and it took a lot, was reality and raw honesty. Money gone, comforts gone, food gone, he was helpless.
Healing begins with honesty. The physical reality check was compounded by the feelings inside weighing down his heavy heart. He sat in a pigsty puddle overwhelmed with shame and guilt. His self-respect was gone, aspirations halted. Most despairing of all, though, was the feeling of being cut off from the relationship with his father. The son had wished him dead, taken his money and broken ties. The prodigal’s fair-weather friends were gone. He was at the end of his emotional rope, he was hurting, hopeless, and humiliated huddling in the mire.
The prodigal son decided to meet the reality of his situation with a truthful assessment of himself. Honest about his place and honest about his pride changed him. Coming to the end of his resources and the end of his relationships began a transformation. Of all these facts he was telling himself about his squandered wealth, his dashed dreams, and helplessness, the most devastating was the broken relationship with his good, giving and protective Father. Honesty told him everything needed to be different and it made him come to a decision. It brought him to a healing, restorative place and gave him the boldness and motivation to act upon his new awareness and insight. “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you,” he concludes. Pastor Ryan asked us to assess where we were at with this question in last Sunday’s message. What have you done with your shares, your shame, and what scares you? Where does the insight and awareness of being honest with your heart and your circumstances lead you? In honesty, there is hidden blessing, delight to be discovered, and new beginnings to be found. List the benefits being honest will bring you.
By Donna Burns