Monday, December 22, 2008

The "Other" Son

A few weeks ago in church my pastor talked about shepherds; how they were “uncouth.” (I looked in a thesaurus to find other words similar to uncouth and was given the following: uncivilized, bad-mannered, rude, foul-mouthed, impolite, vulgar... You get the idea.)

So the “uncouth” were the ones that the Angel of the Lord appeared to; the “uncouth” were the ones who were personally invited to welcome the Savior; they were of the first to worship God in the flesh; the “uncouth” were the ones that we still sing about. Amazing isn’t it?

I know that Jesus spent his time with the uncouth, the uncivilized, the vulgar, the un-wanted and un-accepted; he spent his time with people like me. It must have been extremely difficult for those who weren’t “uncouth” to understand why Jesus hung around with the social outcasts.

I think that today it may be equally as difficult for those who aren’t uncouth to understand or accept the same truth.

My journey from unbelief to faith has left many marks. In taking me back, God has asked me to do some things for him, in faith, and in response to what he’s done for me.

One thing God asked me to do was so hard; he asked me to personally confess to someone that I had sinned against them. I was obedient and trusted that God had a plan for all of this. A couple of years later, God asked me to share this publicly; I was again obedient. But it hurt to reveal deep layers of “uncouth-ness.”

The outcome of this obedience is not what I expected it to be; I expected great relief from the guilt and shame that I carried. It did not come -not in ways I expected anyway.

In Luke 15 Jesus tells the story of the Lost Son. The parable is about a son took his inheritance and wasted what he had been given. When he had nothing left and nowhere else to turn for help, he returned to his father who was overjoyed that his son had returned home to him – i
t didn’t matter where he’d been or what he’d done. All the father cared about was that he was home. He even threw him a huge party to celebrate.

And so it is with God; if we are willing to confess and turn from our sin, he doesn’t care what we’ve done or where we’ve been, he just accepts us back as if nothing ever happened. In Luke 15:7 we are told that “… there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.

However, the same cannot be said of the father’s other son. In fact, in Luke 15: 28-30 it says: The older brother became angry and refused to go in. So his father went out and pleaded with him. But he answered his father, 'Look! All these years I've been slaving for you and never disobeyed your orders. Yet you never gave me even a young goat so I could celebrate with my friends. But when this son of yours who has squandered your property with prostitutes comes home, you kill the fattened calf for him!'

I wonder what the conversation would have been between the “lost son” and his older brother. Would there have been yelling, name calling or fist throwing? Maybe the older brother was so upset that he just ignored his brother.

I praise God that he has allowed me to “come home.” But in that, I have felt the rejection from those who maybe don’t “get” that the mistakes of my past don’t define who I am (in Christ) today. For anyone who has felt this sting, I pray that you remember the "low-life's" God chose to welcome his son, our Savior, into the world and how God seeks out the uncouth.

Daddy, thank you for not keeping track of what I do wrong; thank you for praying me “home” and for never giving up on me and allowing me to inherit your kingdom! I don’t deserve the love and acceptance that I get from you; I pray that you help me to love others the way that you love me. Amen.


  1. WOW! I always knew I was uncouth, just hadn't defined it as such, but isn't the entire account of Jesus' life interesting that way. The uncouth were the first to greet him, he walked and talked and dined with the uncouth because they needed and wanted to hear from Him.

    As one uncouth being to another, thank you for this post! Thank you for the message today. I am sorry for the pain and join you in praying for those who are "couth," who somehow believe they have it more together than do.

    May we love others as He loves us, because of our love for Him!

  2. Your obedience to Jesus and all He's asked you to do touches my heart, convicts me, and leaves me wanting to have a heart more like yours (which in turn means more like His!). Thank you for your willingness to be misunderstood for the sake of Christ. I love you, sister...