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Precious Prodigal
Today's Blog Post

 
 

There is nothing in the world more devastating
to a parent than to have a prodigal child.

 

 
   
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  June 10, 2016:  Will the real Rita please stand up?
                                   #‎takeoffthemasks‬ ‪#‎getrealwithGod
 
 
 
  Psalm 139:23 ďSearch me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts:Ē

A popular television game show called ďTo Tell the TruthĒ ran for 20 years, starting in 1956. In that show, celebrities asked questions of three challengers and then tried to guess which one was telling the truth. At the end of the show, host Bud Collyer would say, ďWill the real [central characterís name] please stand up,Ē and one of the contestants would stand. You see, only one was the real person; the other two were imposters.

While that may have been amusing as a game show, it isnít nearly so amusing in real life, is it? And Iím not talking about trying to figure out when my prodigal is lying to me but when Iím lying to myself.

I like to think of myself as reasonable, spiritual, and kind. But is that always true? The ďreal meĒ isnít the one who sits three pews up on the right side of the church, who is the writer of spiritual things, who speaks to groups and encourages women. The ďreal meĒ is the person I am at my worstÖwhen my computer crashes, when Iím stuck in traffic on I-20, or when Iím at home with only my family. The ďreal meĒ is who I am when Iím angry, hurt, or disappointed.

Youíre probably thinking, ďBut you donít know what I live with every day! You donít know the pain Iím in or the pressure Iím under.Ē And youíre right. I donít. I only know the pain and pressure I face myself.

However, there is one thing I know for sure. It isnít outside pressure that makes the juice coming out of a lemon sour. That pressure only brings out what was there in the first place. According to Jesus, those ugly words we said when we were angry at or hurt by someone came from the ďabundance of our hearts.Ē (
Matt 12:34)

Itís not easy to be patient when weíre pressured on every side from the insanity of living with a prodigal. Itís a tough walk, and I wonít insult your intelligence by telling you that will change. It probably wonít.

But exactly how effective has it been for us to rage at the prodigal? To purposely say unkind things? To strike out or even to strike back? All those things have done is to make us even more miserable. And that misery isnít necessarily the prodigalís doing. Weíve created some of it ourselves.

If the problem is within me, the solution is there too. It begins by asking God to ďsearch my heart and know my thoughtsĒ (
Ps 139:23) and then to purify them. Be warned that if you ask God to show you what you need to change in your own life, He will. And you probably wonít like what He shows you.

But if weíre ever going to do the hard work of changing the way we react, we first need to stop lying to ourselves. And when all the masks are gone and someone says, ďWill the real Rita please stand up,Ē I want the person who stands to be someone Iím not ashamed to be.

Challenge for today: What might happen if we, just for today, dropped all the masks we wear and get real with God? What if we asked God to change us into the person we really want to be?
 
 
 
 
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  It isnít easy to walk a wilderness path, and we who do often feel alone. But there is a God who knows our every fear and heartbreak, and He has promised never to leave us or forsake us. If you would like to know more about how you can have a personal relationship with Him, CLICK HERE.  
 
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  Accepted, Accountability, adversity, affirmations, Alanon, angels, armor, armour, arrogance, bail, Believing God, bitterness, blame, brothers, building, burden, carrying burdens, chaos, chrysalis, church, circumstances, comfort, compassion, complaining, content, contentment, control, counseling, death, Desperation, devotions, discouragement, Divorce, doing whatís right, dysfunction, dysfunctional, eagle, emergency, enabling, encouragement, enemy, envy, Examine your heart, exhaustion, faint, Faith, family, fear, forget, forgetting, forgiveness, forgiving myself, forgiving yourself, free will, friends, Friendship, Giving, Giving God first place, God, Godís Sovereignty, Godís love, gold, gossip, gratitude, grief, grieving, grumbling, help, helping, Hezekiah, honesty, hope, humility, hurt, hurting, jumping to conclusions, letting go, loss, love, love mercy, loving mercy, Loyalty, lying, manipulation, Marriage, martyr, meditations, mental-health, mercy, miserable comforters, mount on wings as eagles, mourning, overcoming, poetry, poison, Powerful, Praise, prayer, press on, prodigal, prodigalís elder brother, quiet time, reaching out, Recovery, rejoice, relationships, religion, remember, remembering, repentance, resentment, Sacrifice, salvation, self care, self will, self-esteem, self-pity, selfishness, Serenity, Serenity Prayer, Service, Serving my generation, setting limits, sharing, sibling rivalry, siblings, sisters, sleep, Sovereignty of God, spirituality, Storms, strength, Survival, taking care of yourself, tale-bearing, thinking, thoughts, trust, trusting God, Unbelief, valley, Waiting, Waiting on the Lord, Why me?, Worry,  
  Accepted, Accountability, adversity, affirmations, Alanon, angels, armor, armour, arrogance, bail, Believing God, bitterness, blame, brothers, building, burden, carrying burdens, chaos, chrysalis, church, circumstances, comfort, compassion, complaining, content, contentment, control, counseling, death, Desperation, devotions, discouragement, Divorce, doing whatís right, dysfunction, dysfunctional, eagle, emergency, enabling, encouragement, enemy, envy, Examine your heart, exhaustion, faint, Faith, family, fear, forget, forgetting, forgiveness, forgiving myself, forgiving yourself, free will, friends, Friendship, Giving, Giving God first place, God, Godís Sovereignty, Godís love, gold, gossip, gratitude, grief, grieving, grumbling, help, helping, Hezekiah, honesty, hope, humility, hurt, hurting, jumping to conclusions, letting go, loss, love, love mercy, loving mercy, Loyalty, lying, manipulation, Marriage, martyr, meditations, mental-health, mercy, miserable comforters, mount on wings as eagles, mourning, overcoming, poetry, poison, Powerful, Praise, prayer, press on, prodigal, prodigalís elder brother, quiet time, reaching out, Recovery, rejoice, relationships, religion, remember, remembering, repentance, resentment, Sacrifice, salvation, self care, self will, self-esteem, self-pity, selfishness, Serenity, Serenity Prayer, Service, Serving my generation, setting limits, sharing, sibling rivalry, siblings, sisters, sleep, Sovereignty of God, spirituality, Storms, strength, Survival, taking care of yourself, tale-bearing, thinking, thoughts, trust, trusting God, Unbelief, valley, Waiting, Waiting on the Lord, Why me?, Worry,  
  Accepted, Accountability, adversity, affirmations, Alanon, angels, armor, armour, arrogance, bail, Believing God, bitterness, blame, brothers, building, burden, carrying burdens, chaos, chrysalis, church, circumstances, comfort, compassion, complaining, content, contentment, control, counseling, death, Desperation, devotions, discouragement, Divorce, doing whatís right, dysfunction, dysfunctional, eagle, emergency, enabling, encouragement, enemy, envy, Examine your heart, exhaustion, faint, Faith, family, fear, forget, forgetting, forgiveness, forgiving myself, forgiving yourself, free will, friends, Friendship, Giving, Giving God first place, God, Godís Sovereignty, Godís love, gold, gossip, gratitude, grief, grieving, grumbling, help, helping, Hezekiah, honesty, hope, humility, hurt, hurting, jumping to conclusions, letting go, loss, love, love mercy, loving mercy, Loyalty, lying, manipulation, Marriage, martyr, meditations, mental-health, mercy, miserable comforters, mount on wings as eagles, mourning, overcoming, poetry, poison, Powerful, Praise, prayer, press on, prodigal, prodigalís elder brother, quiet time, reaching out, Recovery, rejoice, relationships, religion, remember, remembering, repentance, resentment, Sacrifice, salvation, self care, self will, self-esteem, self-pity, selfishness, Serenity, Serenity Prayer, Service, Serving my generation, setting limits, sharing, sibling rivalry, siblings, sisters, sleep, Sovereignty of God, spirituality, Storms, strength, Survival, taking care of yourself, tale-bearing, thinking, thoughts, trust, trusting God, Unbelief, valley, Waiting, Waiting on the Lord, Why me? lying, manipulation, Marriage, martyr, meditations, mental-health, mercy, miserable comforters, mount on wings as eagles, mourning, overcoming, poetry, poison, Powerful, Praise, prayer, press on, prodigal, prodigalís elder brother, quiet time, reaching out, Recovery, rejoice, relationships, religion, remember, remembering, repentance, resentment, Sacrifice, salvation, self care, self will, self-esteem, self-pity, selfishness, Serenity, Serenity Prayer, Service, Serving my generation, setting limits, sharing, sibling rivalry, siblings, sisters, sleep, Sovereignty of God, spirituality, Storms, strength, Survival, taking care of yourself, tale-bearing, thinking, thoughts, trust, trusting God, Unbelief, valley, Waiting, Waiting on the Lord, Why me?, Worry,