They have probably been called rebels, rule breakers, thrill seekers, and worse. They are no doubt used to the judgmental stares and condescending looks. And while you wonder if anything will get through to them, know that someone has already gotten through to them. The enemy. He likes to remind prodigals of their sins and the bridges they have burned. He never seems to forget a daily portion of guilt, dripping and running over with enough shame to last a lifetime.
Reading the story of the prodigal son in Luke 15, I find it worth noting that it isn’t the glare of the “good” Christians that called him from his sin and wasteful lifestyle. It wasn’t Beth Moore’s latest Bible study, or the hottest song on 104.9. He didn’t dig deep within himself or even hear a powerful sermon. The text says, “when he came to his senses…” Why now? Why this day? I think it is because God called his name. God whispered, “Come home son.” And suddenly, his perspective changed. Being home looked different than the last time he had pictured it. Because when God speaks, hearts change.
So the next time you see someone who should know better, keep in mind that they most likely do know better, but the shame and guilt of knowing better may be keeping them from returning home. Pray that God calls their name. Submit yourself as a possible voice for God to whisper His love to them. And then point them to a God who longs to embrace them. Point them to a Father who can’t wait to have a feast and celebrate the return of His child.
And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove
the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!
2 Corinthians 5:17