Today, I would like to talk to you about, “Once a Son, Always a Son.” The reflection is based on the following passage: “And the son said unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in thy sight, and am no more worthy to be called thy son. But the father said to his servants, Bring forth the best robe, and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet” (Luke 15:21-22).
The gentleman in the passage decided one day that he had had enough being a son. He demanded his portion of his father’s inheritance and left home – presumably for good. However, from the time he left, things went from bad to worse. Years of living a low life affected his state of mind. Soon, he lost his sense of being a son, and he developed the mindset of a slave.
Desperate and starving, he decided to return to his father and beg to be received as a hired servant. When he finally met his father, two interesting things occurred. First, the father ignored his son’s apology and the whole speech about being unworthy. He further dismissed the son’s request to be treated as a servant. Second, the father gave instructions for his son to be celebrated and treated like a royal – a move that must have stunned the son.
The story is rich with layers of insights, but we want to focus on just one thing, which is: the son and the father were operating with two irreconcilable mindsets. The son thought – based on the gravity of his actions – that he had lost (or could lose) his status as a son, but the father proved him wrong. The father’s mindset was: “Once my son, always my son, and nothing will make me change my mind about you. My children are royalty, and I always will treat them as royals – no matter what.”
Like the prodigal son, sometimes our shortcomings can make us doubt where we stand with God. To make matters worse, certain religious practices reinforce this sense of unworthiness. We then proceed to think that God cannot accept us unconditionally. But we are mistaken.
Do shortcomings make you wonder if your relationship with God is intact? Have religious middlemen convinced you that you are not good enough?
Whatever your experience, know this: you are God’s beloved child, holy and righteous by grace. Nothing can change that. Deal with God directly instead of using middlemen, because middlemen tend to make life with God burdensome and complicated.
God accepts you unconditionally. Do what you can to walk right, but remember that no matter what happens, you can never lose your place in God’s heart. As Andrew Wommack likes to say, God keeps a photo of you in His pocket.
Shake off the slave mentality as well as the I-am-not-worthy syndrome. You are loved – and once a son, always a son.
With love and blessings