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Just a background idea on the story of the prodigal son, here's a Bible Passage from King James version:
It talked about the younger son, asking for his share of inheritance from his father and spending it all unwisely and had a miserable life when he lost everything. He went home to his father after his realization and was welcomed with open arms and a celebration commenced right then and there.
For me, this is a great story of love and compassion and unwavering mercies bestowed upon someone unworthy like me.
But have you ever wondered what happened to the other son, the elder brother who got left at home?
Let's ponder upon this together.
Possibly the brother worked his whole life to please his father. Day in, day out, he toiled the land and managed his father's resources, and for what?
Probably there was a time when his brother was away that he was wondering where and what his brother was doing and what he might have missed.
He could probably be happy doing his daily routine and was proud of himself for his accomplishments despite his brother's misgivings.
Imagine your brother coming home and was given a banquet despite all the troubles he caused in your family. Imagine having to watch your father proud of having the trouble-maker home while he didn't even notice all your hard work.
I'd probably be so mad and so hurt that I might just do what my younger brother did or I'd die of jealousy for sure. I'd probably have this anger and bitterness hidden in me which of course I'd never voice out because everybody expects me to be good and understanding.
That is the crux of the matter, my friend. We may think ourselves good when we do the right things and is better at everything. We may feel proud of our accomplishments and can even say to ourselves that we are better than everyone else. But God looks at our hearts
I am guilty of these thoughts. I felt betrayed whenever my mother defends my other siblings despite their misbehavior and the suffering they caused her.
But you know what? The reward is not just here, brothers and sisters. We need to look past the rewards we get here on Earth but look forward to what's in store for us after this life. The struggles and hardships we go through here won't be compared to the glory we will receive of our faithfulness in heaven.
So I'm telling myself to not be the other prodigal son/daughter, to not be bitter but be better.