Self-Inflicted

“…this son of yours…”

– Luke 15:30

The eldest son in Jesus’ parable of the prodigal made a grim discovery; he hated his younger brother and no longer desired to be part of the family. This bitterness manifested itself at an inopportune time. When there should have been a joy and rejoicing over his younger brother’s return, we find that there was only anger, envy, and jealousy.

The Bible tells us to “count it all joy when we fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of our faith produces patience” (James 1:2-3). It was a distinct time of trial and testing for the older brother. He was afflicted with self-absorption; A sin that must be denied daily. Since it was not placed on the altar before the Lord, it was not given up. The attention of mind and heart now rested entirely on himself.

“Adorn yourself with patience,” says Spurgeon, “so that you may not complain or be depressed in your afflictions.” If God’s glory is your purpose in life, you will find joy in any circumstance. When it seems others receive what you desire, remember Who is in control. God gives portions to each one as He sees fit and according to ability (Matthew 25:15). Rejoice when others receive favor from our Heavenly Father, and you will find yourself content with what you have.

“If you wish to be disappointed look at others; if you wish to be disheartened, look at yourself; if you wish to be encouraged, look to Jesus.”

– Unknown

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