By Neal Stone
We've all heard the story of the Prodigal Son. The story goes that one of two sons decides he deserves his inheritance before his father passes away and goes out into the world and blows it all and ends up living with pigs.
He finally returns home to his father, and family. Does he get rebuked? Does he get punished or at least an “I told you so.” No! He gets a party. The best food in fact is used at his party.
As for the good son who stayed home and honored and supported his father? He got squat.
I feel that the prodigal son should have a different ending. We are told this is how salvation works. So that when we return to God he celebrates.
I disagree. I think this is one of the most f'ed-up stories of the Bible. A story where a major brat is rewarded for disobedience and arrogance. Meanwhile, the good son gets screwed for being faithful and good to his family and father.
You see, I have a personal issue with this story. I am “the good son”. I was the one who stayed home and supported my parents when my siblings moved out and rebelled. I put my life aside and my desires aside so I could “do the right thing” (God, I hate that phrase).
The only difference was my step-dad acted as if he hated my family so never threw them a party nor did they return home.
I did right by what I was taught, and did I get a party? Did I get rewarded? No, I got to sit back and watch life slide right past me. I got to watch as I spent my life in dead end jobs, poor health, and living in poor conditions -- living on the scraps as they were tossed to me so to speak.
It wasn't till 33 yrs old that I finally started to make some headway in my life and take control. It was a hard journey and a painful one. I would fall flat on my face a few times as I tried to find out who I was and what life meant to me.
The Prodigal Son is one of the stupidest stories in the Bible. It contradicts punishment for evil and reward for good. All these years of hearing how God was going to bless and reward me. Of course it wouldn't be till I got to heaven to get this reward.
I have no problem helping someone, but its me and mine first and the rest as I see fit and if I am able to do so without harming my life. Of course there are exceptions where I will risk my life, but it has to be really worth it.
I never got to live and do a lot of things before I made my life changes. I never got to go out and really enjoy life until these last eight years with my wife. My wife is disappointed that I'm not the spiritual Christian she had hoped to find, but then she doesn't really understand all about what I have gone through. But at least my life is better and hey, I still am a good boy... Well... Sometimes. :)
Think about this: While the prodigal son was out living it up, where was the good son? He was at home supporting his dad and being there for his dad. You know the father was in anguish because of the bad son. You know the good son probably hugged and encouraged his father as needed. He probably said “I'm here for you father”. No, it's more like, “Gee, thanks dad! And to think I was here for you all this time!” I really feel for the good son and understand his frustration on how things went in the end. Lets face it, he got ripped off!
I feel that the prodigal son should have a different ending. Here it is:
And when he returned home his father kicked his ass and made him servant to his brother who did the right thing. He was sent to his room with no supper while a major party was thrown for the good son as a reward for his faithfulness. He then would forever be a servant of the family never to receive any inheritance from his father or family and would forever live in shame for what he had done.