Life Lessons From The Prodigal Son
There are a number of things we learnt as children which are still relevant today. One of these is the classic story of the prodigal son who demanded his inheritance from his Father, squandered it, and returned home after running out of options. This story is often told as one about forgiveness. While this is true, other valuable life lessons have come to light in my adult years.
I think you'd find these extremely useful so let's go through them (Luke 15:11-32).
1. A stubborn spirit can lead one to make very foolish decisions.
The story starts with the younger of two brothers who had resolved to leave his father's house (12). He got his wish and enjoyed freedom for a while until things went south. At that point, he was faced with intense suffering and could have returned home immediately. Instead, pride didn't allow him to and he chose rather to dine with pigs (14-16). How can one ignore his beautiful waterfront manor house in Ikoyi with legions of servants at his service, and decide to go and clean toilets in England just because he was too proud to admit he was wrong? God forbid!
2. Infact, pride is probably next to madness. Be humble.
At some point, he finally came to his senses (17). His default response to being broke shows a man that wasn't thinking straight and didnt even realise it. So all that time, he was trying to justify why his decision made sense?
3. It's okay to rehearse your apology. Just say 'sorry'.
Saying sorry when you're wrong is probably always the best way to go. Don't think too hard about how you sound. This man recited his apology and delivered it (18) so yeah if you ever do something wrong; offend a friend, hurt someone you love or any other thing, you can type a script and rehearse your voice note before sending. All that's important is an apology before it's too late.
4. BEWARE of people who deliberately try to provoke you. Don't fall for it.
I can imagine the look on the older son's face when he got home. His father had probably not had a party in a long time as a result of his broken heart only to come home to hear some serious jams; King Sunny Ade live at his father's house with all the top celebrities and govt officials in attendance.
When he asked one of the security men what was happening, note his response (27). What was the point of telling him his father had killed "the fattened calf"? That level of detail was unnecessary and perhaps the older son wouldn't have reacted angrily if he didn't have that info. Maybe the servant knew he had been hoping that one day it would be his? To think that this was no longer going to be the case. Don't allow what people say get to you. Know your triggers and put them in check.
5. Not everyone will celebrate your progress. It's okay.
Isn't it surprising that the older brother was more concerned about the party than the fact that his brother was okay? (28-30) What if his brother died, would that have made him happy? He was probably being nice and waiting patiently for his father to pass to inherit everything. Don't be the older brother. Put your intentions in check.
So to recap: 1. A stubborn spirit can lead one to make very foolish decisions. 2. Infact, pride is probably next to madness. Be humble. 3. It's okay to rehearse your apology. Just say 'sorry' 4. BEWARE of people who deliberately try to provoke you. Don't fall for it. 5. Not everyone will celebrate your progress. It's okay.
This post was inspired by all those on a journey to read, understand and make sense of the Bible (I see you Keni). A day at a time.
Written by David Ole (Twitter: @iamdavidole) Bio: David is on a mission to reach and help people connect the dots, and increase their chances of success. He is a Strategist, Facilitator, Writer, Curator and Public Speaker. He’s also a Digital native, Brand fanatic, + Art & Polo lover…and above all…friend.