Elder brother lostness- Part 2

By Dave Henning / September 23, 2013

Pastor Timothy Keller continues his discussion of the signs of “elder brother lostness” in Chapter  4 of The Prodigal God.  Today signs two and three are presented.

2.  A strong sense of one’s own superiority.  The elder brother points out how much better his moral record is than that of his younger brother.  In Luke 15: 30 the elder brother disdainfully refers to his younger brother as “This son of yours . . .”, refusing to acknowledge him as a brother anymore.  The author states that the main way elder brothers achieve a sense of their own significance is through competitive comparison.  Elder brothers no longer are sure that God loves and accepts them in Jesus, so their insecurity is exposed as pride and defensive criticism of others.

3.  An unforgiving, judgmental spirit.  The mantra of elder brothers is “I would never do anything as bad as that!”  Elder brothers are trapped by their own bitterness because they don’t see themselves as part of a common community of sinners.  As long as you feel superior to someone, it is impossible to forgive them.  Anger becomes a self-imposed prison.

Today’s question: Has a strong sense of superiority or an unforgiving spirit taken control of your thoughts and actions following your ministry downsizing or vocation loss?  What have you found effective in overcoming those negative thoughts?  Please share.

Tomorrow’s blog: “Elder brother lostness- Part 3”

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Dave Henning

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