Read Luke 15:11-16
11 To illustrate the point further, Jesus told them this story: “A man had two sons.12 The younger son told his father, ‘I want my share of your estate now before you die.’ So his father agreed to divide his wealth between his sons.
13 “A few days later this younger son packed all his belongings and moved to a distant land, and there he wasted all his money in wild living. 14 About the time his money ran out, a great famine swept over the land, and he began to starve. 15 He persuaded a local farmer to hire him, and the man sent him into his fields to feed the pigs. 16 The young man became so hungry that even the pods he was feeding the pigs looked good to him. But no one gave him anything. (NLT)
We very often confuse independence with freedom. The young man in this familiar story wanted freedom and he reckoned that involved living independently from his father. That same story tells us that while he gained his independence he didn’t gain freedom. All he discovered was the futility of a fatherless life.
He became captive to exploitation as others valued him only for his money. He became captive to pleasure seeking, captive to hunger and loneliness, captive to a lingering homesickness. His journey to freedom ended up in a pigsty, which was the pits for any devout Jew.
This was a great tragedy for the young man, but also for the father. Note that the father didn’t refuse his request to leave even though he knew it would end in tears. This is what love sometimes has to do: let the loved one discover for themselves the error of their ways. Love is never control.
For the young man, the far country first seemed a place of great promise and unlimited delights. But these dreams turned to dust.
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