“But he was angry and would not go in.”– Luke 15:28
In the story of the prodigal son, the depraved sins of his younger brother are easily defined. They are the most common to point out. At his lowest state, we find the youngest abandoned in a far off country. When he returned home, the young man found restoration in a father, but condemnation from a brother as a result of moral rectitude. The eldest never requested his inheritance and remained in good standing in the eyes of society. However, his soul was just as desperate as his younger brothers. Although he stayed at home, his heart was also far off.
Self-righteousness may be the most expedient way for someone to cut themselves off from God and man. It has been said, “the man who looks down on his fellow men can never know the fellowship of God.” When an attitude of piety settles in the soul, discovery is often made. It is here that hatred can be kindled on the altar of the heart. This is the disposition of the older brother in Jesus’ parable, he was angry.
We have many Bible-teaching churches in the United States. Although some are within the same denominational family, there are no two alike. We praise God for the differences! It is in these diversities that the body of Christ may be ministered to effectively according to their needs. We must be careful, however, that those variances do not divide. Boasting that the stand of one fellowship is more righteous than another is to take the seat of the Pharisee.
If you look down on a Christian brother or sister who does not worship in the same way you do, you will likely begin carrying that same hatred for others we find in the eldest son. It may not be very evident and may even be masked by so-called “good works,” but make no mistake, it is a sin nonetheless. Rest assured, there is no fellowship with God while you are looking down at others. May our sins be met today with repentance.
“Boasting is a manifestation of pride, and pride was the original sin. It was the sin of Lucifer, the morning star, the anointed cherub, the highest archangel of glory. It was pride that inflated him until he was filled with such a sense of his own importance he was changed from angel to devil.”– John Phillips